The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for working your way from Agatha-Christie-esque countryside across the country towards an eventual destination of evening Agatha-Christie Sunday Evening Cheesy Adaptations. But on the way I take a break to chew on pop-corn, sip tea and compile a list of some of the fine reading that came to my attention this week, present it for your delectation and try not to include a link to a couple of pieces of pop music. I must try. I must.

Failed.

72 Comments

  1. Dante says:

    Didn’t he say he was ‘proud’ and ‘pleased’ to apologise?

    I’m sorry Gordon, but I’m pretty sure the English language doesn’t work that way.

  2. Nicolas says:

    Thanks for the Los Campesinos! link, I hadn’t noticed that :D

  3. Alex says:

    Well, that Making-Of article confirms everything I feared. Ion Storm went under not because of gross mismanagement, but because it was a front for Al Qaeda.

  4. DullEdge says:

    There’s more meat in this article.

    Wish Spector could give out more details on the Mickey Mouse game he’s working on (aside from freaky zombie Goofy concept arts that may or may not be related).

  5. Dracko says:

    Too little, too late, Gordon.

    Nice PR stunt, though. Let’s see how little it helps.

  6. Mr Lizard says:

    There’s no way it’s possible to predict review scores just by playing the game, biometrics or no biometrics. You can’t second-guess a games reviewer. That guy must have an accomplice standing just out of earshot reading the review and signalling the score to him or something.

  7. Xercies says:

    That predict a review score scares me, it means design by commitee it means every game will be the same ebcause these gusy say to get an 80% you always have to do this. That would be the death of original ideas and i frankly would not care for it. And anyway it assumes the 80% fro ma reviewer equals more money in the first place which from last week looking at those metacritic scores it doesn’t seem to.

    Also Gordon brown should apologise for every gay that was treated like that back then because there were more people then Turin that got treated like that and it is one of the many disgusting tings we did in our past.

    Also that Beatles rock Band review is horrible and that guy is everything thats wrong with some people outside of games journalism.

  8. Harbour Master says:

    Kieron must get a lot of people sending him comic scripts for from the unwashed public. Just tell them “No, I will not reading your fucking comic.”

  9. Psychopomp says:

    On another note, Beatles Rock Band is still really, really fun.

  10. Jayt says:

    Is that NY Times article down?

  11. The_B says:

    I want to fuck your Mother, Kieron. It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it well.

  12. Kieron Gillen says:

    Please don’t tell my father.

    KG

  13. Theory says:

    I do find that it’s easy to accurately predict whether a game will be good or not from early media (though of course, your results are your results). Try it retrospectively , both with games you’ve played and games you’ve not: there IS a clear difference.

  14. LewieP says:

    That is a lovely new song from Los Campesinos! indeed. Thanky.

  15. JKjoker says:

    uh, creating a “how to get good scores” algorithm is so stupid, there are so many reasons this is doomed to epic fail, for example :

    it would cause all games to follow the “perfect formula” making them even more similar to each other than they are today

    the algorithm considers the past opinions as constants when they are not, ppl loved slowmo in max payne, not so much the next 100000 games that did it, today is pretty much a meh, the more you consider “something” as a key to get good scores the faster it will become rancid and obsolete.

    they assume the reviews are accurate, when if you ask anyone they will tell you that youll have better chance winning the lottery than reading a good, accurate, unbiased, descriptive and objective game review.

  16. Johnny Law says:

    Well that’s an interesting — and disappointing — article on Red Faction. I’ve been waiting on the PC version. Started hearing some bad things about keybinding options, sound behavior, and vsync yesterday. The keybinding and sound issues aren’t ones that would affect my personal setup, and the vsync problems can be worked around (as this article talks about too), but those are warning signs.

    The news of iffy performance isn’t a huge surprise, but I was certainly hoping for better. At this point I’m really curious about the mouse behavior (e.g. is it like Dead Space PC where the mouse basically emulates the controller). If there’s not much point in getting the PC version I may just wait for a bargain-bin sale on the 360 version, or take a pass altogether.

  17. Vinraith says:

    Am I the only one that finds Rock Band: Beatles a little creepy? Maybe it’s just the advertising, but there’s just something off-putting about digitally resurrected images of Lennon and Harrison.

    It’s nice to see Turing acknowledged, even if it is pathetically overdue. The man’s contributions to the modern world are literally incalculable, there’s no real excuse for his name not standing next to Newton and Einstein in the history books. The simple fact is none of us would be capable of doing what we’re doing right this second without him.

  18. Pockets says:

    Los Campesinos don’t say thanks if you hold the door open. :(

    A really, really, awful claim to fame, isn’t it?

  19. Jim Rossignol says:

    Yeah, all the dead rockstars reanimated are a little freakshow.

  20. CourtneyLuv says:

    DAT”Z WHAT I’M TWEETZING ABOUT!

    THOSE NECROPHLIACS USING MY DEAD HUSBANDS LIKNESS TO PLAY BONJOVI SONGS!

  21. LewieP says:

    @Pockets
    I sat in on an interview with them at last years Indietracks festival.

    So yes.

  22. Kester says:

    The amount of research Ion Storm put into Deus Ex sounds incredible. Maps of the White House, lawyers getting hold of executive orders, and half of it didn’t even end up in the game. I’d never really thought about how much effort goes into creating a convincing world like that.

  23. ascagnel says:

    @Vinraith:

    I. Totally. Agree. As a CS major, I can tell you with 100% certainty that Turing is the most influential member of the field. Every bit of research into algorithms and hardware development can be traced directly back to what he did. Its about damned time he got his due.

  24. Robin says:

    Gaming Daily duly added to the idiot list. Thanks for the heads-up.

    I think you’re being a bit harsh on the Digital Foundry articles. I’ve no doubt they generate a lot of traffic for Eurogamer from fanboys, but they’ve presented a much clearer picture of the performance of games on each format than could be gleaned from over-analysing developer’s interview quotes.

    There’s no other site analysing the performance of console games as closely. If you look at the extremely simplistic comparison articles attempted by the likes of IGN and Gamespot, it’s clear that DF are tackling a niche for which no-one else is properly equipped. There’s a general trend in console journalism to gloss over version differences for the sake of not rocking the boat, which isn’t very helpful.

  25. Jazmeister says:

    Next, it’s Rock Band: Turing. I called it.

  26. l1ddl3monkey says:

    To go with “I will not read your fucking script” (which I did read earlier in the week) here’s former Star Trek (the original series) writer David Gerrold on why he thinks Olsen’s stance is not harsh enough!

    link to blogs.villagevoice.com

  27. Kadayi says:

    That Josh Olson article is ace. Albeit I’m not a writer by trade I appreciate the angle he’s coming from, esp when dealing with the truly hopeless.

  28. Therlun says:

    Oh RMT issues.
    I think its funny how CCP tries to convince its players that the game will be so much better without the ISK-farming bots.
    The people farming and selling ISK don’t do it for fun, but because Eve like many other games just has some terrible design elements a few players with too much money would like to avoid.
    But I guess keeping the grind, banning the farmers and telling the game gets better that way is easier than ACTUALLY making the game better.

  29. CdrJameson says:

    I Will Not Fix Your Fucking Computer?

  30. Noc says:

    @Therlun: Because, you know, it’s not like CCP has set up a legitimate RMT system or anything.

  31. Kester says:

    That Olson article seems about right for a screenwriter: they’re all a bunch of drama queens. He’s trying to blame other people for the fact that he can’t say “no” and has a hangup about having to have everyone else like him.

    While I can appreciate what a pain in the arse it must be to get asked to read stuff all the time, the industry is so cliquey that by far the best way to break in is to do exactly that and get someone who’s established to read your script. You really can’t blame people for trying just because you don’t have the social skills or strength of character to turn them down.

  32. Psychopomp says:

    @Courtney

    On a more serious note, the whole thing is insulting on an artistic level.

    Using his image like this is basically pissing on his grave, and everything he believed in, and I don’t even like Nirvana all that much.

  33. LewieP says:

    If only Courtney hadn’t murdered him, he would still be around to defend himself.

  34. Hastur says:

    Olson’s article would have more credibility if it had been written by someone other than the hack responsible for “A History of Violence”. That movie had some pretty accomplished actors and a pretty interesting plot, but their contributions were obliterated by the abysmal screenplay.

  35. Ravenger says:

    I had the same problem in a previous job when customers sent in sequel ideas or even whole game designs based on a game I’d worked on. I couldn’t read them just in case their ideas matched some of the elements in our planned sequel, leaving us open to claims that we’d stolen their ideas. I had to write back to them saying we never accept or read unsolicited game designs due to the legal problems they can cause.

  36. lumpi says:

    These articles comparing console games, and their unwanted stepchildren, the PC-ports, are getting sadder and sadder.

    Why is it, that I cannot find a significant difference between a 4-year-old console and a high-end PC running those games? A sunbeam here, a softer shadow there… but in the end even your 9999XTX can’t handle either and you have to scale it back to quasi-360 levels anyway.

    The main difference is, that PC hardware cost about 3 times as much as a 360, yet only brings a ridiculous 10% improvement (if that). And yes, I’m a “visual type”.

    Maybe PC developers should look into that highly frustrating fact, instead of slaughtering lambs at the piracy-altar.

  37. jalf says:

    @ascagnel: Well, Church was pretty damn influential too. But yeah. I found it funny how Brown’s talk only spoke about winning WW2, and not a word about basically inventing computer science.

    Did you see this btw? link to james-iry.blogspot.com

    1936 – Alan Turing invents every programming language that will ever be but is shanghaied by British Intelligence to be 007 before he can patent them.

    1936 – Alonzo Church also invents every language that will ever be but does it better. His lambda calculus is ignored because it is insufficiently C-like. This criticism occurs in spite of the fact that C has not yet been invented.

    :D

  38. Therlun says:

    @Noc
    Offering something and at the same time condemning it does nothing to solve basic problem. :P
    It also seems as if the legitimate offer by CCP is inferior to the illegal one… or those farmers wouldn’t be such a “terrible scourge” to the game.

  39. PHeMoX says:

    “That predict a review score scares me, it means design by commitee it means every game will be the same ebcause these gusy say to get an 80% you always have to do this. That would be the death of original ideas and i frankly would not care for it.”

    From a commercial point of view this makes perfect sense though. Where huge profits may equal a higher risk investment, sticking with proven formulas will have a fairly predictable profit. Think EA’s Fifa series or even their Need For Speed series. People like soccer, people like fast cars. You’ll hardly need to change more than 20% to keep those customers satisfied despite having to pay for a new game.

    A commercial success just about every time…. it’s sad but true, games do also work this way.

  40. Stu says:

    Ah, S*M*A*S*H. I remember back in my NME-reading days when them and These Animal Men were spearheading the NWONW. I had “(I Want To) Kill Somebody” on an old singles of the year compilation and always wondered what that first line was: “A statistician studies Titian”? Google says it is, but c’mon, that’s a little bit rubbish, isn’t it? And I can’t make up my mind whether “Gill Shepherd’s got an appalling unemployment record” is ace or shit.

  41. Stu says:

    PS. As for predicting review scores, I believe it’s done with split-screen.

  42. Mike says:

    The Turing stuff is largely shit. ¬_¬

    Cheers for the Blue Casket link again, RPS. We love you guys.

  43. Sunjammer says:

    I still can’t get over Turing being sentenced to “Chemical Castration”. That term fills me with unholy dread

  44. luminosity says:

    I’d love to be looking forward to Red Faction: Guerrilla, but the Steam price for Australians is $70 USD, when the Americans are charged $40 USD. There’s no fucking cause at all for this price disparity in digital distribution where it costs the same to deliver the game to me as to an American, and I’m absolutely sick of the dirty publishers trying to gouge extra out of us, just because they think they can get away with it.

  45. Gap Gen says:

    Could someone post a dead celebrity GH5 version of Thriller? Actually, please don’t.

  46. Gap Gen says:

    Xercies: I don’t know, there’s a lot of scope inside that 80-100% to differentiate between a classic and a merely very competent game. As far as testing goes, I don’t think it’s particularly soulless to say “this plain doesn’t work” or “this isn’t as scary as you think it is” or whatever.

  47. Mike says:

    Sunjammer – he chose it, over imprisonment. But yeah, it wasn’t great.

    BUT WE APOLOGISED SO NOW IT IS ALL OKAY.

  48. Thants says:

    Regarding the Red Faction Guerrilla comparison: If you’re going to have comparison pictures it helps if the brightness isn’t set much higher in half of them.

  49. Stromko says:

    I’m rather concerned about that article via Vertical Slice as well. If any developers (or publishers) actually believe this method, or are cynical enough to use it … Ugh.

    Particularly because it’s built to rope people in WITH THE DEMO. How many demos have you played that were much, much better than the actual game? We can expect a lot more of that, if such a method is used. I’m 90% sure, and I’m an expert about being disappointed by videogames so the margin of error is only +/- 5%.

    Drilling the game down to 30 fantastic seconds that convince people to buy .. or more realistically a demo that convinces people to buy .. Yeesh. I hope there are no developers cynical enough to actually buy into that, and no publishers nasty enough to force them to. But I know there are, and that’s where most of the money is going.