Posts Tagged ‘The Sunday Papers’

The Monday Papers

By Graham Smith on September 1st, 2014.

Sundays are for wandering around Croatian national parks in glorious sunshine. Mondays, meanwhile, are for sitting inside Croatian apartments, watching thunderstorms roll by the window. And for belatedly rounding up the week’s best writing about videogames.

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The Sunday Papers

By Graham Smith on August 24th, 2014.

Sundays are for remaining steadfast, even as all common sense suggests otherwise.

  • Writing for the New York Times, Chris Suellentrop salutes the underappreciated women videogame pioneers, and discusses the need for exhibitions which celebrate their work.
  • The first commercially released game designed by a woman is believed to be Ms. Shaw’s 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe for the Atari 2600 in 1980. That year, Dona Bailey programmed the colorful arcade shooter Centipede for Atari. Ms. Shaw designed River Raid, a game I spent countless hours with as a boy, for Activision in 1983. Roberta Williams wrote, among other pioneering computer games, King’s Quest in 1984.

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The Sunday Papers

By Graham Smith on August 17th, 2014.

Sundays are for realising you left your brain behind at Gamescom, and now it’s lost forever in a sea of videogames. Time to rebuild it. This week’s Sunday Papers brought to you by: a desperate last-minute search.

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The Sunday Papers

By Graham Smith on August 10th, 2014.

Sunday Papers is late today because I was having too much fun reading the articles. No kidding! Why not join me?

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The Sunday Papers

By Graham Smith on August 3rd, 2014.

Have I got news for you? Yes, and it's all fucking miserable.

Sundays are for getting back to Game Maker after too long away. But first, tight words on the many games we haven’t had enough time to play yet ourselves.

  • Dominions 4 is brilliant: a turn-based strategy game about warring gods which contains tremendous variety, and which is therefore an excellent candidate for a prolonged game diary. Tom Senior at PC Gamer has just started one – or rather, previously started one in the magazine and it’s now appearing online.
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The Sunday Papers

By Graham Smith on July 27th, 2014.

Sundays are for returning from an extended absence to find that you’ve read little of the best games writing from the past week. Can we scrape it together anyway? Yes, with teamwork we can.

  • I haven’t had a chance to read this lengthy Brendan Vance article yet, but reader A Person On The Internet (and many others) assure me it’s excellent. Person writes: “It explores a myriad of topics including Steam, Spelunky, Social Media, the meaning of ‘content’ and much more besides.” Works for me. Especially since it appears the article argues that Spelunky is better than the bible.
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The Sunday Papers

By Adam Smith on July 20th, 2014.

Sundays are for balancing many interests and inputs, and realising that there aren’t enough windows in the world to see the whole picture. The International rumbles on, an unblinking machine that exhales dry ice as it calibrates the new theatre of esports live on stage and screen. Kill Screen’s reporter Darren Davis makes his debut at a live esports tournament and captures the exhileration and oddity.

As I said, I’ve never been to a live esports tournament. But once you’re there in the arena it’s hard not to feel like every other event is just talking shit. Valve has really outdone itself in terms of production and pageantry. This is not off-brand. This is the progamer tournament. Turns out, it has more in common with WWE than any pro sport. When Gabe Newell takes the stage to kick off the event, he steps through smoke and spotlights and may as well stop to flex. He speaks with the full-throated confidence of a wrestler at the peak of his narrative arch, bringing the crowd to a fever pitch in their reverence. This is Valve’s behemoth on Valve’s home turf.

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The Sunday Papers

By Adam Smith on July 13th, 2014.

A brief foray into the external world because this particular Sunday is for waking in a strange city, the body in one timezone, the mind in another. Is it even Sunday? We’ll trust the blinking of the calendar and the messages swirling in the coffee for now.

  • First up, Mike Rose asked the big questions about YouTubers, cash and ethics, and then slipped me a fiver to include the article in the Sunday Papers (Ed – OBVIOUSLY NOT).
  • “We — video creators — live in complicated times,” another YouTuber says. “It is expected from our work to be free. Copyright holders don’t want us to monetize, no one likes ads, no one likes paid content — but we invest our free time into covering the games we love and want to share, basically giving free PR for the game itself. If a YouTuber asks for money for delivering great content, it’s not wrong — it’s compensation.”

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    The Sunday Papers

    By Graham Smith on July 6th, 2014.

    Sundays are for rolling around on your couch, wondering why you bother to try. Probably best you turn away from my moping and spend your day reading fine works from the rest of the internet.

  • There are no lengths to which Richard Cobbett won’t go for a gag. And this is a good one: Fallen Swindon, a Twine-made parody of Fallen London. You’ll enjoy it more if you’ve played its inspiration, but it’s not necessary.
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    The Sunday Papers

    By Graham Smith on June 29th, 2014.

    It's hard to do alt-text gags for the same image every week.

    Sundays are for sending emails, to set in motion the wheels of future words about videogames. Let’s inspire ourselves first by rounding up some of the week’s best writing from elsewhere.

  • Margaret Robertson recently asked on Twitter for recommendations for story-creation games, and she’s rounded up the advice in Once Upon A Wonder: A Story Game Guide. This is your daily reminder that there are more interesting games than you’ll ever have time to play:
  • Dog Eat Dog is a game about colonialism and identity, the first task of which is described by its author Liam Burke as “As a group, you work together to describe one of the hundreds of small islands in the Pacific Ocean”. One player takes on the role of *all* of an occupying force, representing “their capable military, their quisling government, and whatever jaded tourists and shrewd businessmen are interested in a not quite pacified territory,” and all other players become individual Natives, responding as best they can to the actions of the colonizing power.

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    The Sunday Papers

    By Graham Smith on June 22nd, 2014.

    Good haul, this week.

    Later today I will be disappearing into a pen-and-paper session of Numenera, to pretend to be a cross between E. Honda and B.A. Baracus. Unless those dice rolls fail me, in which case I will be Austin Powers-ing my way through it. In any case, better round up the week’s best games writing first.

  • Let’s begin this week by talking about YouTube. Mike Rose at Gamasutra asks, is YouTube killing the games press? This is filled with interesting quotes from developers on whether traditional websites or YouTubers helped sales of their game more, though it does focus the conversation on ‘which type of coverage is best for developers’ rather than what’s best for people playing and buying games.
  • Getting covered by a big-name YouTuber is now essentially the dream of many game developers. The publicity someone like TotalBiscuit, NerdCubed or Northernlion can bring you compared to mainstay consumer websites like IGN, GameSpot and Game Informer is becoming increasingly significant.

    A year ago, I would have advised any developer to get in touch with as many press outlets as possible, as soon as possible. I still advise this now, but with the following caveat: You’re doing so to get the attention of YouTubers.

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    The Sunday Papers

    By Graham Smith on June 15th, 2014.

    The World Cup has started, which means Sunday are for the same thing as every other day: waiting for the football games to begin, then watching the football games. But I suppose we can find some time in between to round up a little of the week’s best games writing.

  • Let’s start with what I missed last week. Over at Edge Online, Chris Thursten writes a retrospective of Red Dead Redemption. I struggle to see beyond the game’s Rockstarian mission structure (do tasks for assholes of only sideways relevance to your character’s motivation), but Chris pins down everything that’s nevertheless great about the game:
  • What soon becomes evident is that the MacFarlane ranch has a Marston-shaped hole in it. When Marston leaves Bonnie for the last time near the end of the game, he is riding off to meet a tragedy that is grounded in his dual nature. Through Bonnie – and the future that she wants for him, but that it is impossible for him to have – the game intimates an inaccessible third option. Redemption binds him to a destiny that is always just out of shot, and it’s this that makes him a Western hero rather than a shooter protagonist with a cowboy hat on.

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    The Sunday Papers

    By Graham Smith on June 8th, 2014.

    The funny pages.

    Does it matter if you write some functioning code but don’t understand why it works the way it does? Sundays are for finding out, in between playing so much Floating Point that you dream about playing it in a Japanese tournament.

  • Jon Blyth, the funniest writer in videogame journalism, is no longer working in videogame journalism. He’s left his role as associate editor on OXM to go run a pub in Nottingham, which in many ways is the game journalist equivalent of being put out to stud. He’s typically apologetic:
  • I’m sorry to anyone who missed my gently coded warnings. When I said “we can’t wait to find out more,” at the end of a passionless regurgitation of a feature list, that was the closest thing I could professionally say to “I don’t even know what this game is”. The first time I heard someone say “we’ve really listened to our community”, I was impressed, and reported keenly on this consumer-orientated and responsive attitude. By the end of my career, all I wanted was one developer to say “we’ve ignored our community, as they are plainly fucking idiots”.

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