The Sunday Papers

By Jim Rossignol on May 26th, 2013 at 9:34 am.


Sundays are for worshipping the sun god. Careful though, because sacrificing meat on the burning altar of bar-be-cue may enrage him further. Later, as you hide in your cave from the blazing skygod, perhaps you’ll read about the happenings of the computer people. Or perhaps you’ll simply sleep.

  • Simon Parkin on “that cancer game”: “Joel is four years old and currently fighting his third year of terminal cancer. His young body has already endured a life’s worth of surgery, of chemotherapy, of prayer. The tumours have left him partially deaf and blind and, at one point, forced him to relearn how to walk. Yet he remains a survivor, confounding his medical team’s expectations with a resolute determination to stick with life, with his brothers, with his lot. But while the family remain in the eye of this storm – next week Joel has an MRI scan to check whether the skewered tumours have returned – they’ve chosen this moment to express their story through a video game. Why now?”
  • Hyper-inflation in Diablo III: “Hyperinflation is the economist’s equivalent of an astrophysicist’s quasar cluster or a marine biologist’s dolphin “stampede”: a rare exhibition of a unique set of circumstances which arise infrequently and are closely studied when they materialize. Such events are exotic enough that they become legendary: many individuals knowing little about monetary policy are aware of the recent outbreak in Zimbabwe, or familiar with the defining instance in the post-WWI Weimar Republic.”
  • Six developers of 2D shooters talk about why they enjoy working in the genre. Matt James: “In shmups the design is close to the surface, it’s easy to see. I have nostalgia for designing shmups and thinking about their design. Nostalgia and some sentimentality about the past – my past – was a key theme in Leave Home, although that probably grew out of the fact it was a shooter as much as making it a shooter was an intentional decision in the first place.”
  • Leigh Alexander on Sissyfight: “Sissyfight was an important moment in this whole history,” [Zimmerman] adds. “A big motivation for me in doing this is just that I know there are a bunch of players out there who really miss the game, and I feel a certain amount of duty to try to get it back online for those people who had friends on Sissyfight, who met their spouses there,” Clark says One such couple are doing all the new avatar art rewards for the Kickstarter, even. “That human side, as cheesy as that might sound, is why I want to make sure this gets funded, so we can give it back to the people that really deserve it.”
  • Game design and the “beautiful dilemma”: “The best game experience I can have is when its mechanics present me with several good options every turn. And then it hits me with a beautiful dilemma: Each turn, I can always do something good, but I cannot do everything that I want to now.”
  • Rich Stanton writes about Starcraft II pro Greg ‘Idra’ Fields for the Guardian: “Idra’s the sort of athlete who, if you opened up a playbook, and there was the recommended fundamental playstyle … he does that, but refined to such an incredible degree that it almost feels like he’s cheating.”
  • Cara Ellison publishes Martin “GoldenEye” Hollis on Monopoly: “It is still a terrible game however. Partly I say this because the mid-game drags on interminably as the needle of advantage gradually yet erratically swings over, but mainly I say it because playing it is a horrific, soul-destroying and divisive experience. Monopoly is a game for all the family but you might not feel like family afterwards. You will however have all the money.”
  • Beautiful photography from the “abandon building” genre.
  • An Xbone link, but I enjoyed Tom Bramwell’s grilling of Phil Harrison: “Why should my readers trust that what you’re saying about Kinect this time is going to hold true?”

Music this week is Boards Of Canada’s Reach For The Dead.

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124 Comments »

  1. Archipelagos says:

    Xbone! That is an abbreviation of wonder. Bravo.

    • Premium User Badge DrScuttles says:

      Verily. In fact, I believe we must cement the name into popular culture as soon as possible. Xbone. ɛksboʊn. Yes.

      • honuk says:

        it’s already in use everywhere. not an RPS neologism

      • Beartastic says:

        It’s spelled Xbone but it’s pronounced, “crossbone”.

      • Tei says:

        I have see many people adopt it. What make It better? I don’t understand. It seems to means x-bone. I don’t understand why that would be fun (?).

        • Premium User Badge Vandelay says:

          A boner is a euphemism for an erect penis. Which is where you get the verb “to bone” someone, i.e to have sex with them.

          Judging by all the Xbone coverage so far, it is an apt name. Buyers are certainly going to get fucked with this one.

        • Dr I am a Doctor says:

          BEEP BOOP
          WHAT BE JOKES

          • Premium User Badge DrScuttles says:

            Joke: a way for puny organics to stave off the crushing inevitability of death //# IMMINENT ROBOCOMPUTER SUPREMACY #// through medium of humour. Often shared between close cells of humans akin to a virus.

            See also: slapstick, chlamydia.

          • Nick says:

            puns/euphemisms in english not being as obvious to non native speakers shocker.

          • Dezmiatu says:

            Nick, someone needs to develop brain surgery to help foreigners think in English. Preferably, the operation will be as quick and unintrusive as a lobotomy. An operation we can learn to do to ourselves from watching Youtube.

      • Premium User Badge Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        Even if it seems a good idea to both of you at the time, an Xbone is something you will soon regret.

        • Premium User Badge Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

          I made a japery.

          Prepare to take down a letter, alert the broadsheets, and find my trousers.

          • JackShandy says:

            Fine work, my lord. I have your post-japial pipe ready.

          • Premium User Badge Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

            Why thank you Jack. I can call you Jack, can’t I? I see you’ve even tamped my pipe with my favourite blend!

            Pipe tobacco, yellow phosphorus, and ground powdered orphan can be the very devil to find. Please, take this OBE as a token of my appreciation.

          • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

            XOBE, sir.

    • Premium User Badge dangermouse76 says:

      Anagram version = Box Ex, No ! ……..compelling and to the point.
      Edit: No ex box then, jeeeze!

    • LionsPhil says:

      It’s at least less ambiguous than “XBox One”, which to me would refer to the first one, before the 360.

      I foresee eBay scams and some very disappointed youngsters’ birthdays.

      (Brill interview. Nicely hits the point of ‘pushing for a straight answer’ without going overboard into ‘being a bit of a dick’.)

      • Don Reba says:

        Maybe they will call the next one “Xbox Three Sixty” as payback for “xbone”.

      • GreatGreyBeast says:

        Boy this reboot fad has gotten ridiculous, hasn’t it?

  2. Premium User Badge Chaz says:

    Those photos are nice, but I would have much preferred to see the original pics though, as every man and their dog seems to be using those filter effects these days. It rather ruins them for me unfortunately.

    • Pliqu3011 says:

      I agree completely. Those clichéd “apocalyptic“ filter-effects ruined otherwise great photographs for me.

      On a related note, these 100-year old photo’s (in colour!) are just amazing: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/08/russia_in_color_a_century_ago.html

      • Premium User Badge dangermouse76 says:

        If your into photography the Library of Congress archives are amazing. The quality of some of the shots is mind blowing.

        These are one of my fav flickr sets.

        http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/sets/72157603671370361/

      • jgotto says:

        Thank you sharing that link of colour photographs from 1910 Russia. They are quite wonderful.

      • Premium User Badge Hodge says:

        Not to mention the really forced use of vanishing point perspective in almost every shot. He seems to be trying to impress people with technique, getting in the way of the photos in the process.

        EDIT: That was a response to Pliqu3011 a few comments above.

    • Premium User Badge aleander says:

      That’s HDR, which means it’s a composite of several photos on different levels of exposition. It kinda makes sense for urban exploration pics – you get photos of interiors with very different levels of lightning, so many of those pictures are built from a pic of a blinding light, a pic of a black hole, and sometimes a pic of a gray haze.

      So, no, I’m afraid the pics wouldn’t be better without the filters.

      • Premium User Badge FriendlyFire says:

        Depends. The pictures as distributed are mapped from the original HDR to 8-bit per channel images. That mapping can dramatically affect how the photos actually look, and the guy very obviously went for a bit of an “eerie” style. You can make more realistic pictures using a different mapping/algorithm.

        So I guess the good way to say it is that those aren’t filters at all, but that the guy could’ve decided to present the pictures in another manner.

    • Kadayi says:

      Looks like HDR photography, which can be a little overbearing.

  3. phenom_x8 says:

    Why there’s none of the article made me interested, Jim? Arrghh, whats wrong with me ?
    (I’ve already read That cancer game and Phil harrison Interview way before its appear in sunday papers, by the way and I think that’s the only two articles interesting enough for me)
    Any suggestion, guys (or gals)?

    • Obc says:

      you might be interested in this:

      Bioshock Infinite Critique http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdNhwb7iuI4

      i know this might be getting old for some, but its a bloody well presented and spoken critique on the failings of the game. the video is quite long but its so well done that i’ll recommend it to everyone interested in games at all.

      one might disagree at certain arguments but they way there are laid out one can’t fault the author of thinking they way he does and see where he is coming from.
      and if you like the video, his other videos are quite good too.

      as are the videos by these two guys on various gaming topics:

      Mrbtongue: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI3GAJaOTL1BoipG41OmfyA

      Campster/Errant Signal: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm4JnxTxtvItQecKUc4zRhQ

    • mydoboxinydo06 says:

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      (Go to site and open “Home” for details)

  4. NathanH says:

    That Berlin game design blog is pretty good, it makes its points clearly and doesn’t get bogged down like a lot of blogs do. We need more blogs like that for game mechanics in video games (of course, I’d say we need more video game designers who are good at mechanics too).

    I think Monopoly gets rather worse press than it deserves, probably because it’s the sort of game that works best with a bunch of people who like games, are good at games, and are quite happy to ignore which members of their group they like most if the makes the game better. None of these things are true at family gatherings, where you’re better off with something like Game of Life where you don’t have to interact with each other much and you mostly just watch fun things happening.

    • Lanfranc says:

      I wouldn’t say Monopoly is the best or most interesting game out there, but it is a little unfair that people always complain about the interminable endgame until everyone is bankrupt – you could just set a time limit instead and the richest player at the end wins. Wikipedia informs me that this has been an official variant rule since 1936, so… yeah.

      • misterT0AST says:

        It’s never nice to cut the game short when you still had business plans to develop, things to do.
        And in the case of Monopoly, it’s not nice to keep bringing your strategy forward either.
        You end up not satisfied either way.
        Besides, if people actually came up with a fully satisfactory way to end a Monopoly game, I’m sure by now it would have replaced the stale victory conditions you find in the box.
        It’s like a loooong deathmatch, that starts Free For All with 6 players, and ends 40 minutes later as a 1v1, with both players tired, and the rest of them sitting on their hands waiting for the game to end.

  5. belgand says:

    I would disagree that the examples listed represent “dilemmas” where the choice is between multiple good options. Instead almost all of them seem to be about determining risk vs. rewards and his apparent enjoyment of the tension that results (something I personally cannot abide). In other words: gambling. That is what he’s really saying in the end, that he likes to gamble. It only works because in each of those examples there is imperfect information. In the majority of cases if the information was made available the choice would be made obvious. One is correct and the other is not, you just don’t know which is which yet.

    A real choice would be two opposing, but equally-valid options. Perhaps a classic example would be Deus Ex and the choice to use stealth vs. shooting everything in sight. Each will yield a desired outcome, but the process is reached differently and in a way that makes the other option more problematic the more frequently it is chosen. Or a game where working with one faction will inherently upset another faction closing off their missions and advantages.

    • MondSemmel says:

      Why would you need perfect information for dilemmas being meaningful or enjoyable? In board games, the players can react to one another. Can there be no dilemma unless it’s chess, where you have perfect information of the playing field?

      That said, the random events in FTL provide a great example for “dilemmas”. You get hardly any information about outcomes in-game, and for the longest time I didn’t even know they were basically slot machines. But once I got into the habit of looking them up on the FTL wiki, it became apparent that there was rarely ever a meaningful choice – usually, the right answers were: (Almost) Always fight; _never_ risk losing a crew member, etc.

      • NathanH says:

        Even chess involves gambling: although you know the position a sequence of moves will arrive at, you don’t know whether the sequence of moves will be followed, and even if it were to be followed you don’t know whether your assessment of the final position of the sequence of moves will be accurate. You’re always gambling on your assessment of positions being correct. Actually, you’re not even doing this, because at the board you know full well that your assessment of the position is probably wrong in various ways, so what you’re gambling on is that you’re not missing too much.

        • Kaira- says:

          However, chess is completely deterministic and as such, given enough computation power and memory, it’s possible to choose a set of moves that always leads to victory. This is a basic thing in AI research.

          • Premium User Badge Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

            But what if both sides do it? What happens when white and black both have the computating power and memoronical capacity to compute their way to victory from any starting point? Eh? Riddle me that, young feller-me-lad!

          • JackShandy says:

            I’ve heard that we’ll never make a computer that can think fast enough to solve chess before the human race becomes extinct.

          • NathanH says:

            That chess can in theory be solved is broadly irrelevant to playing chess in practice.

          • Strangerator says:

            I read this great book about A.I. called “The Most Human Human,” and a good bit of time was spent on the whole Deep Blue v. Kasparov matches. Essentially what the programmers of the chess A.I. did was “pre-solve” a ton of opening moves, up to a dozen moves into the game. So the A.I. would move rather quickly when it encountered a known board position, because the response had been precalculated. Kasparov was playing against essentially a compilation of a lot of openings played by legendary players. It was only once he could take the machine “out of book” that he could make any headway.

            When it came to “thinking about” new moves to make, Deep Blue wasn’t great, because of the mathematically dizzying number of possibilities. There’s that type of creativity that A.I. doesn’t yet have, which allows a skilled and intelligent player to seeming pick good moves out of thin air quickly. A.I. algorithms have to churn through tons and tons of bad options and can do so quickly, but still it can’t do them all in a reasonable amount of time (although today’s computers might have considerably more luck).

            On the other hand, in the infamous Game 6, Kasparov made a blunder, and fell for a common trap, and the A.I. quickly and brutally followed up on it. A.I. don’t make this type of “forgetful” blunder, possessing inhuman amounts of memory.

            Overall it was an extremely interesting book about what it means to be human, and well worth a read (or listen).

          • Hidden_7 says:

            @Lord Custard

            It really depends. Deterministic games (think of Tic Tac Toe because it’s nice and simple) can have “winning strategies,” that is algorithms that you follow that lead to a win regardless, or they can not. For Tic Tac Toe for example the “winning strategy” only leads to a draw. In other games only certain players have access to winning strategies. E.g. maybe one side goes first, and only the side that goes first can make use of the winning strategy (imagine a game where the goal was to pick numbers 1-9 until they added up to 15. The first player would always win).

            Because Chess is so complex and because we HAVEN’T actually computed out the winning strategy yet, we don’t actually know what it will look like. Maybe optimal play will only ever result in a draw. Maybe only black or white are able to make use of it. All we can really say is that because Chess is in that class of deterministic games there DOES exist this predetermined optimal play algorithm.

            Also, forgive me if any of these terms aren’t quite exact/proper; it’s been a while now since I’ve done modal logic.

    • NathanH says:

      Practically everything you ever do is a gamble, including those examples you provide, because you don’t know the outcomes (both in terms of difficulty of play and enjoyment of play).

      When it comes to game mechanics (which is what the blog was about and what your examples aren’t examples of), you want your players to have choices at particular moments, and the decision they have to make should be non-trivial (so one gamble shouldn’t be easily-determined to be better than the others) but tractable (so you aren’t just blindly guessing).

    • JackShandy says:

      Even Deus Ex doesn’t have perfect information. You know that a door requires ten lockpicks to open, but you don’t know what’s behind it, or how many lockpicks you’ll need in later levels, how easy it will be to find lockpicks, whether you’ll be able to buy them or how much they’ll cost. Maybe you’ll find out – as I did – that you can’t get into a fantastic secret area because you opened that locker three levels ago.

      At the start, you can put points into Swimming – but you have no information on how much water there’ll be in the game, how much difference there is between a trained and untrained swimmer, or how you’ll be able to use the skill. Will there be a lot of underwater enemies? Will there be items hidden underwater? What is swimming even like in this game? At the start, you have no idea.

      Naturally, you can gain perfect knowledge by saving and reloading ad infinitum. You don’t have to do this to make the decisions in Deus Ex interesting.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      “A dilemma is a problem offering two possibilities, neither of which is practically acceptable.”

      A dilemma isn’t about picking from two good choices. A dilemma is about choosing one of two unacceptable outcomes.

      • Skabooga says:

        I’d even go so far as to say my favorite choices to make in games are trying to choose between the lesser of two evils. That could be why I find Monaco so engaging, for it forces you to make such decisions in a split second.

  6. MarcP says:

    What’s with the giant font on Cara’s blog? Is it a mobile thing? Not much of a problem, but it feels odd, like reading a child’s book.

  7. aircool says:

    Blue Split (photos) looks exactly like the inside of Keelmans Hospital in Newcastle where I lived as a student.

  8. realitysconcierge says:

    SUNDAY PAPERS OH SUNDAY PAPERS. YOU GREET ME SO EARLY. I WANT TO GO TO NOT AND EAT A TASTY TOT. BUT MY SUNDAY PAPERS WILL MEET ME HERE WHY NOT. SUNDAY PAPERS. SUNDAY PAPERS. I LIKE MY SUNDAY PAPERS. READ ME MY SUNDAY PAPERS.

    • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

      Tot also means child where you come from too, right? Just… y’know, just askin’.

  9. Prolar Bear says:

    Boards of Canada single isn’t half bad, but I hope the full album is a bit more varied.

    • MrThingy says:

      I dunno, I could do with several hours of that.

      For me, Boards of Canada is drifting off on long railway journeys and flights, considering the beauty and absurd meaninglessness of existence, but in the most enjoyable dreamlike way.

    • Michael Fogg says:

      What Boards of Canada? Canada’s Board of Education? The Canada Board of Transport and Regional Development?

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I love BoC, but the harder they market this record the less I find myself caring about it. I just want the album, enough with the viral puzzles and whatnot.

  10. bluebomberman says:

    Looking at the hostile reactions the XBone have been getting this past week, I wonder if this signals the beginning of the end for console gaming.

    There are numerous trouble signs:

    1. Microsoft may very well dropping the ball with the XBone. Kinect 2.0 needs a killer app to avoid being a creepy has-been gimmick. Skype is hardly a system seller considering the widespread availability of video and auto chat over numerous other Internet-enabled devices. TV on demand is available from numerous competitors already, with many devices priced at $99 or cheaper. Even worse, the XBone team seems to have forgotten it’s supposed to be primarily a gaming machine; no wonder the legions of fanboys who stuck with it through the whole red ring saga were incensed.

    2. With Microsoft dropping the ball, we’ve all forgotten that Sony’s not looking all that great either. Sony’s 2 hr. press conference for the PS4 was padded with mountains of marketing gobbledygook. “It’s social! And social! And did we mention social?” At least it did not lose sight of its primary mission as a gaming machine. But the mostly uninspired game and tech demos at the press conference highlighted another problem…

    3. That AAA gaming’s increasingly becoming creatively and financially bankrupt, with uninspired sequels failing to provide anything fresh and compelling to justify the $60 price tag. It might be a really hard sell for Sony and Microsoft to push a $400+ console just to play a slightly prettier AssCreed or Call of Duty. Who knows? Squeenix and EA might follow THQ into the abyss.

    4. More skepticism about new consoles: the Wii U’s failure to gain traction. The Wii U’s shortcomings may not be enough to explain why it’s selling poorly. Any reasonable analysis of the future of video games has to consider the possibility that most of Nintendo’s competitors are going to join them in a rut and dig themselves a deeper grave.

    5. Speaking of deeper graves, the war against Gamestop and the used console game market has a massive potential to backfire. People generally understand the concept of tying digital purchases to an account; in the particular case of Steam its advantages greatly outweigh its disadvantages for many users. Where Microsoft and Sony are likely heading is an awkward scenario in which the game discs you purchased are tied to an account and console and are not easily transferrable. This is not only largely unprecedented but entirely counterintuitive for the average consumer who are used to not having to create accounts to pop in a DVD movie. And since tying down discs to accounts and/or hardware offers zero benefits to users and the potential for immense frustration, I doubt you’ll see a lot of loyalists defending this the way people defend Steam.

    6. People are shifting away from dedicated portable gaming consoles, but you all already knew that. Why people are getting excited about devices like the OUYA and Nvidia’s whatever portables is beyond me.

    7. The continued shift towards tablets and smartphones, which up to this point has been treacherous waters for most of the types of games we’re used to seeing and enjoying on consoles and PCs.

    If you put to a gun to my head and demand I predict what will happen in the next 3 years or so, I’ll say (after begging you to put the gun away):

    1. Tablets and smartphones will continue to rise in popularity. You might see more efforts to bring more traditional games to iOS as game devs desperately try to find new sources of revenue, but overall I think they will choose to avoid trying to compete with F2P and 99 cent casual games.

    2. The new consoles will struggle to gain traction, much like the PS3 in it’s first 2-3 years. People won’t see the need for a new machine; the whole used game issue will frustrate them; the new games look too much like the old games; the early adopter price is too much in these times of continued austerity and recession.

    3. More AAA games will fail to reach profitability, as the behemoth devs fail to deal with rising costs and burned out programmers with greater creativity and efficiency. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a bigger THQ-like implosion or two. (I really do think Squeenix is in big trouble.)

    4. PC gaming will probably hold steady, even with the continued slowdown of PC sales and the potential that the PS4 and XBone obsolete huge swaths of PCs. Indie games I think will continue to be relatively successful on PC and Steam in particular.

    The next couple of years might get pretty ugly. Hold on to the handrails.

    (Wow this took too long to write. Someone hire me, please!)

    • Premium User Badge Vandelay says:

      All good points, that I can only agree with. All except for the PS4 presentations, which I actually thought was pretty good. Perhaps that is just looking back it after this week though.

      Still, I can’t see it helping them make massive sales either. Back when the Sony/MS fans were mocking the WiiU for its very slow start (despite what they said, the start was actually okay, it was the few months later that was the problem) it was inevitable that the same thing would befall the other systems.

      MS attempting to cater for the non-”core gamer” (sorry, it is a horrid term) with all its talk of TV and sport is probably not going to help them, as those people already have multiple devices that can do the same thing. Why anyone would buy a game console now without it mainly being used to play games is beyond me, yet MS seem to think that is the way forward.

      As for future predictions, I can’t see the likes of us moving away from traditional gaming, nor can I see those that buy CoD and FIFA year in, year out no longer buying into those franchises or their future equivalents. There just won’t be much expansion in the user base. Those that dabbled with gaming this generation, particularly those that bought the Wii for the party games or mainly bought the PS3 as a Blu Ray player, are going to just stick with the mobile games, but they aren’t the ones that made Gears of War or Grand Theft Auto 4 massive successes.

      There will also be a very slow starts for all the consoles. The big fans will take the plunge early, but most will just stick with what they have for a couple of years. This is probably why MS have said they will keep supporting the 360 for quite sometime (although, until 2017 seems too long to me – they should have gone with 2015.)

      The console winner during Christmas 2013 will actually likely be the current underdog – the Wii U. They are gearing up with playable versions of the new 3D Mario and Mario Kart at E3, which will also be going into stores for people to try out. One or both will likely be coming out before the end of the year and those alone will be system sellers for many people, but there are also quite a few other franchises and new IPs being released during Q3/Q4 of this year. When it comes to parents buying their kids Christmas gifts, the brand new consoles with very few games will look a lot less appealing than the family friendly Nintendo offering, particularly as it will likely be at least half the price of the others. They also won’t be aware of or care about all the naysaying that has accompanied the console so far.

    • I Got Pineapples says:

      While things are looking shaky, I also think it wasn’t helped by there being a section of the gaming media who really wants to write a ‘Death of Console Gaming/Death of Hardcore gaming’ narrative. Because at the moment it feels much sexier to write about Smartphones and tablets.

      Leigh Alexander, who I otherwise quite like, wrote a particularly terrible ‘Well, this small demographic of people I know are this way so clearly this holds true for everyone’ article on it for example, that wouldn’t look out of place on somewhere like Slate.

      • bluebomberman says:

        From what I can tell, media types looking at the next wave of consoles are making similar arguments. I’d hate to think that you’re less dismissive of wot I think just because I don’t get paid by the link.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Squeenix and EA might follow THQ into the abyss.

      We can but hope.

      • Jason Moyer says:

        If it gave Zenimax a chance to buy the Deus Ex and Thief licenses, and they then gave them to Ark….*head explodes*

      • Obc says:

        but i want my kingdom hearts 3 :(

        plus a new Deus Ex and all the other western developed Sqeenix games.

        If Squeenix just cancels every ongoing development on FF titles, they might see black numbers again. If at some point the old spark comes back, only then start a new on a FF title.

        Konami is even in a more shit position. Its only Kojima who holds the company afloat.

    • mouton says:

      Regarding PC gaming: I find it quite amusing that the oft-declared dead medium might prove to be the most stable, due to the continued usability of desktops and laptops and easy access for indie devs. Especially funny was that Riccitiello column at kotaku, where he reported that most of people he knows say “omg console gaming is dying”. Schadenfreude 200%.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Open platforms that basically let people get things done persist. Just look at the web.

        The PC’s greatest strength is that you don’t need anybody’s permission to sell software for it.

        • rustybroomhandle says:

          Microsoft’s long term goal seems to be to change this.

          • LionsPhil says:

            If they do for the meaning of PC which is “Windows”, they may finally take the suicidal leap which means we all get stuck with Linux instead.

            The biggest threat to a personal computer as a concept would be boot code signing. If they actually manage to get that ubiquitously onto desktops, then it’s trouble. Everything would be a glorified tablet/console forever.

          • mouton says:

            Bar making windows unable to play games, I can’t see it happening. Even if it did happen, we can live for many years on the last suitable version – see windows xp – and alternatives would inevitably arise.

      • Premium User Badge Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        IS PRINCESS DIANA REALLY ALIVE ON THE QUEEN’S MOON-BASE?

        JOHN MAJOR: NOT HISTORY’S GREATEST MONSTER?

        CAN ROCK PAPER SHOTGUN SURVIVE WITHOUT PUNS?

        JOHN WALKER: A MODERN DAY ALEISTER CROWLEY?

        In today’s hype-obsessed media with a propensity for headlines that ask breathless questions, the simplest and most often correct rule is that the questions are to be assumed answered in the negative.

        One might conclude that the more often the breathless question is asked, the more “no” it is. In this case, the sheer duration of the questioning is a testament to the resounding “no” of the answer.

    • Vorphalack says:

      ”even with the continued slowdown of PC sales”

      Just remember that the statistics used to evidence that slowdown were taken from a select group of big brand PC manufacturers who specialise primarily in office desktops. The relevance to gaming PCs may be non-existent, as most people will either build their own, get a friend to build one, or go to a smaller specialist gaming PC supplier. I see more positive chatter around the internet on PC gaming than we used to 2-3 years ago, so i’d be more inclined to conclude that gaming PCs are becoming more prevalent.

    • Strangerator says:

      I think if Sony really takes a cue from the Xbone backlash, they could handily destroy Microsoft this generation. They ought to come out right now and declare no subscription charges for their “Xbox live” equivalent online services on PS4. Just make the new slogan “respect the gamer” or something that implies they don’t care at all about (American) football and I think they will have a winner. Then follow GOG’s lead and start releasing downloadable “Playstation classic” games from the first three playstations and sell them on the cheap, to appeal to those who are mad at the lack of backwards compatibility.

      I also have an idea for some scheme involving exchanging hard copies of old PS1-3 games at a local gamestore and getting a code for a free download of the same game on your shiny new PS4. This would be another epic move whereby Sony could maintain the appearance of respecting the gamer and also the concept of physical game stores like Gamestop, etc. These would be Steam-like virtual licenses that allowed you to download and install the game at will.

      • Premium User Badge Malibu Stacey says:

        They ought to come out right now and declare no subscription charges for their “Xbox live” equivalent online services on PS4.

        PlayStation Network doesn’t have a subscription charge equivalent to XBox Live Gold. They have PlayStation Plus but all that gets you is some free games & other stuff every month plus discounts on a load of other games.

        Then follow GOG’s lead and start releasing downloadable “Playstation classic” games from the first three playstations and sell them on the cheap, to appeal to those who are mad at the lack of backwards compatibility.

        They’ve already been doing this on the PS3 for months if not years.

        So basically you’re saying Sony should start doing exactly what they’ve been doing for the PS3 but on the PS4.

  11. Vorphalack says:

    The Deahbloh 3 article was an interesting summary, however it fails to understand either through lack of gaming experience or lack of cynicism, that Blizzard had absolutely no interest in allowing the gold economy to remain stable. The conclusions it draws for creating a stable virtual economy are sound, but these should have been obvious to Blizzard from the start, especially given their long reign over WoW. Blizzard were of course warned years before the D3 beta went live that an economy based around gold, in a game that allows for infinite and relatively effortless gold acquisition, would be subject to rampant hyper inflation. The obvious advantage for Blizzard in allowing the gold economy to gradually collapse would be the theoretical migration of the player base to the stable RMAH, which was tightly controlled by real world currency values and in game drop rates.

    As the article points out, this migration didn’t happen as intended. Understandable really, as seeing the core trading mechanic fall apart before the players eyes without a suitable solution being proposed would hardly entice anyone to start spending real money on the game. Blizzard seem to have realised too late that they cannot coerce players into the RMAH through apathy towards the gold economy, and their recent efforts to reverse hyperinflation simply come too late to prevent a drop in active users.

    Edit: That spam filter…..surely its about time you allowed us to say Deahbloh once more.

  12. Lanfranc says:

    Regarding the article on hyperinflation, it should be noted that the tenets and methodology of the Austrian School, which the Ludwig von Mises Institute is a leading part of, is not generally considered mainstream by most economists. So read the analysis, but be sceptical of the conclusions.

    • killias2 says:

      Yeah, the Austrian School is the economist equivalent of that guy you know who thinks black helicopters are coming to get him. For the most part, their analysis is pretty typical, but then they say a few amazingly idiotic things. For example, in the notes at the bottom, they claim that Blizzard should’ve focused on persistent deflation. Umm.. what? Why would you want anything except price stability? It’s like they went out of their way just to say something crazy at the end.

      Edit: Here’s the quote: “How best to accomplish regular, periodic player consumption is beyond the scope of this article, but persistent deflation in a virtual world – not unlike what the United States experienced throughout most of the Nineteenth Century – would benefit newer players and encourage longer-term players to remain active.”

      Insane. I can’t even begin to fathom why they think this makes sense.

      • Vorphalack says:

        It works because the gold economy is based around selling virtual goods that have literally no worth unless they are sold, unlike real world commodities which have inherent value. If the gold economy underwent prolonged deflation it would eventually self correct and could potentially be stabilised. Players would continue to sell their items at lower and lower prices because there is absolutely nothing to be gained from hoarding virtual items you don’t need.

    • The Dark One says:

      How can you talk about the Mises Institute without posting a link to this hilarious essay?

      • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

        I’ve argued with libertarians on here enough that I should probably start a thread in the forums. If I could remember my password for it, of course.

    • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

      I was under the impression that the Austrian school is highly influential at the moment? Or am I misreading how it relates to current fiscal policy in the West?

  13. TechnicalBen says:

    Basically what I took back from the Xbone interview was:
    “We loved what we saw of the launch of the new Sim City so we’ve decided to implement the same systems console-wide.”

    (Not my quote, but fitting!)

  14. Radiant says:

    Someone should really be looking into how players like idra are being exploited by both the tournaments they play in and their sponsors.
    Gaming houses and shoddy contracts are just the start.

    • Fred S. says:

      I think if you asked most “foreign” grandmasters players they’d tell you they dream of getting the chance to be exploited like that. Korean game houses are run like military barracks but the players they turn out are like demigods of the gaming scene.

      • LionsPhil says:

        So you can be really good at something really useless?

        Gaming’s a hobby. If you’re not enjoying the process, then what’s the point?
        As a competative sport, if you’re not making significant winnings, then what’s the point?

        • Fred S. says:

          It’s entertainment. How useful is playing football? Top e-sports pros don’t make the dough that football players can make, but the audience numbers are growing. SC2 tournament streams can get 50,000 viewers. Top individual players can draw 6000 and more on any given day.

        • misterT0AST says:

          No “game” has a point. Not horse races, not Football, not Starcraft, not Blackjack.
          This doesn’t mean a competitive scene or an industry can’t exist around games.

        • Premium User Badge Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

          As CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN approaches, is not everything we do ultimately pointless, and enjoyment merely a way of distracting ourselves from the cold, creeping horror of reality?

        • LionsPhil says:

          Did any of you read my second paragraph before jerking those knees?

          • DiamondDog says:

            People play competitive sport for a variety of reasons. Asking what’s the point if the winnings aren’t “significant” is a bit subjective. Even if they aren’t earning top tier money, what they get might be enough to make it worth while in their eyes.

            Plus, some people just have the compulsion to compete, to master something. I think of Steve Redgrave, who basically never wanted to go near a row boat again after his 1996 Olympic win, and then still put himself through the hell of training to go into the 2000 Olympics. Some people are just wired that way. It’s not as simple as you either enjoy it or earn so much that the pain doesn’t matter.

    • I Got Pineapples says:

      I have several Starcraft 2 players working in my gaming mill and I assure you that I treat them with the upmost fairness and dignity. Even the beatings are only to remind them of their place in the world, since it would be crueler to allow them to aspire to that which they cannot ever have, like sleeping indoors and eating more than one meal a day.

      • Premium User Badge Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        Dear Sir, Madam, Robot, or possibly some sort of Dog,

        I read with interest your progressive policies towards the ethical treatment of those unfortunates society chooses to call “professional Starcraft II players”.

        I note with approval your stance on feeding them sometimes as often as daily. A Starcraft player, fed upon a performance-enhancing diet of raw shrimp, has a superior balance in the humors, as long as you can prevent the sluggardly phlegm from accumulation. I find the application of leeches directly to the mousing hand drains the phlegmatic fluids and melancholy bile and allows the free flow of fighting choler.

        On the subject of discipline I prefer not to administer correction personally as they may become confused by the beatings when administered by the hand that feeds them. I find it more efficient to simply send them to the game-front to battle each other, then have the winners flog the losers. The traditional bracket system suffices to winnow the herd down to one unbeaten (and, if you’ll forgive the japery, unbeaten! Ho, ho!) player, who should receive a personal thrashing from the gaming foreman to increase morale.

        There is one persistent problem I hope you will be able to shed some light on, and that is the delicate matter of gamer husbandry. I have one or two promising traits I’d like to fix in the herd, such as superior Marine stutter-step micro, larva control, and cannon rushing, but so far they have proven to be shy breeders. Perhaps you have had more luck than I, and might have one or two interesting bloodlines we may cross. I look forward to any advice you might have.

        Yrs. Sncr. &c,

        His Nibs, A. C. “Custard” Smingleigh, OBE (withdrawn)

        • Strangerator says:

          Genius. Keep up the good work, Lord Custard!

        • Don Reba says:

          Best part of the Sunday papers.

        • Jade Raven says:

          I’m surprised that you beat the winner. Surely leaving them unbeaten would create an envy in the other players that would drive them into a capitalistic-like urge of self-improvement and eager to take your self-improvement instructions.

          I’m also surprised to learn that you write in the American dialect.

          • Premium User Badge Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

            I know it is easy to anthropomorphise Starcraft gamers, but the regular and even handed thrashing is important to prevent any one of them from trying to assert dominance over the pack. As long as none of them vies for the alpha position and they accept their keeper’s authority, injuries due to status and breeding scuffles can be kept to a minimum.

            Also, the blighted colonial dialect is a side effect of the spellchecker on the Android keyboard which is my external mermaids. I mean eternal nemesis. Blasted machine!

          • Jade Raven says:

            Ah, thanks for clearing that up Lord Custard. I am not a stable manager myself, but I believe a broad education is essential.

  15. jimmydean239 says:

    What with Chivalry’s free weekend on Steam and Star Trek in the cinema, I haven’t planned out much sun-worshipping today. My pasty visage will live on, it seems.

  16. Michael Fogg says:

    Maybe it’s too early to say for sure, but that cancer game will not really be a game at all. It will be a piece of interactive software with a similar intent to an artistic video installation. There most likely will not be a test of skill or strategy or any actual mechanics, which will relegate it to a Dear Esther-esque status of ‘interactive experience’. Now, I’m not saying it won’t be good, because it probably will, or that it shouldn’t get coverage on RPS or other gaming outlets, because it absolutely should. It looks like it will be a very compelling lesson in empathy and an occasion to reflect on one’s life. But it won’t be a game.
    Even if it has Gordon Freeman as protagonist.

    • NathanH says:

      I broadly agree, although using “relegate” is unnecessarily judgemental. It suggests that games occupy a higher position in the grand scheme of things than interactive experiences that aren’t games. The truth of such a statement is entirely personal. It certainly relegates it to a lower status in my eyes and presumably yours, but we should be careful to clearly distinguish between “not a game, I’m not interested”, and “not a game, shouldn’t be considered as interesting as a game”.

  17. noclip says:

    Xbone is what happens when corporate management meat drones attempt to eliminate every remaining drop of inoffensiveness to their customers from their product.

  18. Wang Tang says:

    Who is this “sun god”? He should come out of his hiding place, as I’m starting to question his existence. Surely, no god would like that, eh, Mr. sun god?

    The abandoned buildings photos are superb. At first I was slightly put off by the postprocessing, but after looking at some more, I really like it. Somehow they come off as very “gamey”.
    This one would fit right into BioShock (1) or Half-Life 2: http://500px.com/photo/27236649

  19. Premium User Badge DrScuttles says:

    But what’s inside the cube?

    • Premium User Badge Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Four metric tons of cynicism.

    • noclip says:

      Hopefully a video apology from Peter Molyneux.

    • Freud says:

      Colonel mustard with the lead pipe.

    • Lanfranc says:

      He said it would be “life-changing”. So I’m guessing Cthulhu.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Do those tapping on the cube get to count as cultists for the purposes of determining who gets eaten first?

    • Low Life says:

      This: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qhzb9OUWrXU

      (Seriously, not trying to make you click some stupid link, it’s the actual video)

      • Premium User Badge DrScuttles says:

        Oh.

        I was hoping for the Cthulu suggestion.

      • TaylanK says:

        Really. The life changing chance to “accrue riches” by helping design a Moly game.

        Oh Peter… look at yourself. Right at the heels of your last empty box of promises, you’re asking people yet again to have faith in your next big thing like some kind of quack inventor… from inside a box for heaven’s sake! It’s so sad I have to look away.

  20. newprince says:

    I totally agree with the sentiment that the Xbox One is the perfect console for the 1990s. It’s simply breathtaking to assume a mass market of young people wants to only have both a cable box and an Xbox One (making the moniker of ‘One’ self-defeating) to deliver all their content, which would give them terrible UIs, limited options, and make an average 20- or 30-something have to spend many hundreds of dollars a month on time-limited and DRM-infected content, on top of Xbox Live fees to do the same things you can do for free on your PC.

    However, the continuing false argument that mobile gaming will kill all AAA and console/PC gaming has got to stop. AAA games have always, always been derivative and had more misses than hits. Who can deny this history? E.T., Mario 2 in the U.S., various N64 titles… what is more the only recent change from this history is the case where an A/AA game gets rightful exposure as a wonderful game, and then the original developer closes down, with a AAA developer turning it into a franchise. Mobile gaming is popular because it scratches an itch for millions of people. That is, we have these tablets and phones we’re on a lot, and it has some cheap pick-up-and-play games we have time and the demand for. Nothing else. The kind of people who work at Bungie or Deep Silver or Bethesda won’t some day wake up and try to make their new open-world RPG hybrid game on a mobile device. It’s just not going to happen. There will always be people willing to make, and a market of people who are willing to play, games that are deep, technologically advanced games.

  21. Skabooga says:

    That Tom Bramwell interview of Phil Harrison is pure gold.

  22. Don Reba says:

    Game designers don’t have to use the motion-sensing capability of Kinect to add magic to a game. It could be just as simple as a voice command, or it could be just as simple as knowing there’s more than one person in the room at the same time, and being able to automatically populate options and user interface – knowing there are two people playing or three people playing. Things that can be really subtle but really joyful to the player. It doesn’t have to be jumping up off the couch and running around your living room – it can be quite subtle.

    Oh, God. Oh, God. Games will know when you are playing them naked. This is the worst thing ever!

  23. WendyField19 says:

    just before I looked at the paycheck ov $6536, I did not believe …that…my mom in-law had been actualey taking home money part time at their computer.. there moms best frend had bean doing this for only about twenty one months and resently took care of the loans on their mini mansion and bought themselves a Infiniti. we looked here, Exit35.com