Been away for a couple of weeks, but thankfully the Sunday Papers RPS-document is ever-filling (at least when people remember to cut and paste something into it). That means I can take you on a leisurely Sunday Afternoon stroll through the more cerebral – or, at least, charmingly distracting – writing from across the web, while trying to avoid leading you down that seedy alleyway where I either link to a song that’s been stuck in my head for three days straight and/or one of my comic things. Man, let’s hope I can avoid that. It’d be really embarrassing otherwise.
- Critical Gaming on Organic and Inorganic design, specifically about game fiction versus game logic. At Develop I found myself in a fairly serious topic on the question, so it’s on my mind. Example quote, which is hard to disagree with: “It’s a shame when a game works hard to establish a fiction and a form only to take away from it by arranging levels that don’t make sense according to that fiction”. What’s interesting to me is games which take this admirable stance, and push it arguably too far – the best recent example would be Assassin’s Creed.
- The NYT do a big piece on trolls. Which is interesting for about a half dozen reasons. Well worth reading, but only with keeping a critical layer wrapped around your mind. In a piece like this, you need to keep in mind everyone’s – the writers, the interview subjects, everyone’s – motivation.
- Variety are doing some notable writing on games at the moment. Case in point: Their E3 write-up, which uses it as an opportunity to highlight the people who’ve made the past year. An agreeably catholic list.
- Interviews: Firstly, Blizzard’s Game Design head-honcho Rob Pardo over at PC Gamer. It’s the sort of stuff which Gamer does terribly well – it’s an actual conversation and debate rather than a Q&A. I could tell it was Tim Edwards’ piece before I even looked at the byline. Secondly, Carmack and Willits of Id talk to Gamasutra about their recent alliance with Electronic Arts and the future direction of the company. Thirdly: Actually, that’s enough for now. Onwards!
- David Braben of Frontier starts writing for Edge. He specifically talks about the Games Up? campaign which is trying to increase visibility for the British Games Industry. Which, in short, is being screwed entirely. I talked to Braben at Develop, actually, and will be running the interview in the next couple of weeks. It involves the P word heavily. C’mon guys! Let’s see if we can go for 500 posts next time, of which 250 will be Stu Campbell and Cliffski. War! War! War!
- This is a fun one. Gamasutra run a Shooter Roundtable featuring Kenta Cho, Jonathan Mak and Omega (“The Every Extend Guy”). See men talk seriously and intently about bullet-patterns.
- Eve Online continues to be the most fascinating game in the world that I’ll never, ever play. Case in point: This investigation into the phenomenon of Suicide Ganking. The tactic involves attacking high-value cargo ships in high-security space in mass-numbers with low-value ships. Sure, you’ll be killed by the police, but if the cargo your side gain is more than it would cost to replace your ships, it’s still a win.
- Troy Goodfellow Strategy-hero and suspected Dickens Character reviews Jim’s book. And likes it. Phew!
- I’m going to be writing up my time at Develop in the next few days, but until then here’s Simon Parkin’s notes on Paul Barnett’s 11 lessons he learned from Warhammer. Which reminds me – anyone else in the closed Beta? Clearly, don’t talk about your experiences, but drop us a mail. I need team-mates.
- So, waking up in my own bed for the first time in forever, I get the odd urge to listen to the Style Council’s Shout To The Top. Which then gets stuck in my head, leading to one really exhilarating march across London to go and see Fallout 3, turned into choreography by a bit of my brain malfunctioned, followed by sleeplessness. Still, watch the video. See how he plays the Piano? That’s how RPS writes. Man. Oh – and my first Marvel comic came out this week, and there’s a preview of it over here. And I’ve started hyping the second series of my Image comic Phonogram with this advert.