The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for trying to get the core of your work done before you find yourself assembling Skaven, playing Dragon Age and going off to Comiket at the ICA. This work includes compiling a list of fine mainly-games-related reading from across the week while trying to avoid linking to two splendid leftfield pop-icons sharing an intimate stage. Go list!



  1. SmartChimp says:

    The first news story link is missing/broken.

  2. Dominic White says:

    An interesting tangent that few peopls would give a damn about, is that in recent years, a lot of hentai games (RPG or otherwise) have actually gotten ‘clean’ console releases, minus the sex, because the story/gameplay holds up without the nookie.

    Some of them even got TV anime series’. Utawarerumono is a strategy-RPG/visual novel (probably about 70% plot, 30% fighting) which got both, although the uncensored PC version has a fan-translation floating around.

  3. Hobbes says:

    Also, no link in this one..

    # For the Brits, an eye-raising piece on a graphic novelist being denied the right to travel to the UK due to being “underqualified”. Fundamentally, because he didn’t have a degree, despite all the acclaim. I suspect this could also trip up a lot of game developers.

  4. CMaster says:

    KG – Also no link for the story about the Graphic Novel author.

  5. Kieron Gillen says:

    Fixed. This is crowd-sourced proofreading in action.


  6. Gap Gen says:

    SWAT 4 is really scary without vampires or zombies or ghosts. Clearing a building where you know there is one gunman hiding in some dark corner, waiting to shoot up the first person to come through the door is terrifying.

  7. abhishek says:

    Somewhat tangential question… Someone I know claimed that Chet Faliszek mentioned during the Eurogamer event that the original campaigns from L4D will be ported to L4D2. This didn’t sound very likely to me, so I asked him for some link/video to the interview, but he couldn’t find it. Has anyone here seen/heard about this particular news? I’m off to read the 3 interviews linked here, but if anyone else knows where it was mentioned, or even if it was mentioned, confirmation would be appreciated.

    • abhishek says:

      Oh boy, I knew this would happen. The first interview I read, the question is answered! Well, not exactly answered… The interviewer asks Chet whether the old maps will come to L4D2 and he is non committal about it. It does, however, mean that he can’t have confirmed it anywhere else. Guess my friend was wrong after all.

    • LewieP says:

      What he talked about with us was that there is a current plan (but it might change) to port all of the assets from L4D1 over to L4D2, but that is purely so that mods made using those assets will be compatible with L4D2, and wouldn’t mean that the L4D1 campaigns would be playable in L4D2.

    • Persus-9 says:

      As Lewie says he just said the assets would be there. If I remember correctly he said they would be downloadable as a free addon so that the mods would work but they wouldn’t be included by default. I’m guessing it won’t be that long before there are mods recreating the original campaigns in L4D2 if Valve don’t do anything to port them over themselves. It would make very good sense if the L4D campaigns where added to the L4D2 menu if you owned both games but that’s pretty much pure speculation on my part.

      Anyway the Q&A where he mentioned the assets being available is here: link to

  8. Subject 706 says:

    Really interesting articles about the Russian games industry. Enjoying the hell out of the Void right now, while waiting for dragon Age to arrive sometime next week. I can’t think of any western publishers who wouldn’t recoil in fear if asked to touch that game.

    Who’d have known what nice things the fall of the Soviet Union would bring us?

  9. Fede says:

    Chet Faliszek (’p')
    He likes to talk a lot, and seems to think you are eager to listen.
    He is fairly often encountered, lives in the town, and moves quickly. He is magical, casting spells which teleport toward you, blink-self, slow, or charm. He may carry some exceptional objects. He can talk, talk, talk, and talk.
    (yes, I'm playing roguelikes too much yet again)

  10. SirKicksalot says:

    Ah, religion in games. Nice topic. Reminds me of the time I wrote a monster-paper on LOTR’s religious influences.
    A game that mixed religious ideas in a very interesting way is Cryostasis.

  11. Alexander Norris says:

    That flowchart – it lies about raptors. I can therefore only conclude it is the enemy.

  12. Russell says:

    I for one have long wanted to see game set in the Culture. Not an adaptation of one of the books but something new. Maybe a mass-effect style RPG or something that follows in the footsteps of deus ex. Though I guess you could also make a rather good RTS.

    • Dain says:

      I think an original story in an RPG/adventure game is the best way to go.. not sure about an RTS as it seems the basic culture strategem is fall back, fall back, evacuate, fall back, FUCKING KILL EVERYTHING. Not sure being ridiculously superior to everything else would make for fun gameplay :P

      A gift from the culture seems like an odd choice to introduce people to the culture on.. I agree that it’s going to be incredibly difficult to bring culture ships to the screen in any way that is like the books.

      Did anyone hear the Radio4 adaptation of state of the art? It was rather good!

  13. Chaz says:

    Apostrophe’s’ eh’? What can’ you do, the g’damn thing’s get eve’rywhere?’

  14. Hulk Hogan says:

    Everyone with the last name McCarthy is human trash, prove me wrong.

    Anyone remember MCARTHYISM?!

    How about that Jenny McCarthy! Don’t vaccinate her babies with autism!

  15. Igor Hardy says:

    Why does the more than a year old Alan Moore interview show up again?

    • Vitamin Powered says:

      It’s been doing the twitter rounds this week.

      Plus I haven’t seen it before this week, and it was an awesome interview, so I have absolutely nothing against it seeing it turn up :-)

  16. Pundabaya says:

    Actually I totally get the ‘sleep helps you learn thing’ I remember waking up one morning and suddenly understanding trigonometry.

    • yhancik says:

      Sleep is also known to help creative problem solving. When it comes to games, it probably at least as important as memory.

    • Chaz says:

      Well after playing Fallout 3 until 3.30am this morning, I had a dream that I was trying to buy land for a big farm on the east coast of America between New York and Philadelphia. I decided it was too expensive on the east coast and then cycled off through the countryside to my B&B accomodation, which was a haunted Bavarian style chalet in a lovely Alpine setting.

      In real life I work in IT in small town England. So being a big US land buyer made quite a pleasant change, and the Bavarian chalet was charming. Not quite sure how any of that it going to help me continue my game tonight though.

    • arrr_matey says:

      I owe so many solutions to Sierra and Lucasarts adventures to sleep. Which I suppose means my dreams have had their fair share of rubber-chickens-with-a-pulley-in-the-middle and Monolith Burger decoder rings in them.

  17. l1ddl3monkey says:

    Alan Moore is really intense and somewhat curmudgeonly. Also probably the best story teller in the business.

  18. Stenl says:

    Zangband, right ?

  19. Stenl says:

    That last comment was @Fede, the reply system is not working for me at all.

  20. TeeJay says:

    Re. Visas:

    Not only was he denied a visa because he didn’t have a degree but then…

    “When his appeal for a skilled worker visa was dismissed, he attempted to gain a short-term holiday visa so he could attend the launch. This was also refused, because officials thought he would overstay his allotted time.

    Following that he applied for a partnership visa so he could join his girlfriend of six years, Carmen Williams, back in their Hampstead home.

    But because he had been out of the country for five months the relationship was considered as ended and the application refused by the Borders Agency despite the fact the couple are still going out.

    …A spokesman said the Artist Visas had been dropped to simplify the system. He said: “Mr Singh’s initial application was refused because there was insufficient evidence to support it. His appeal was also dismissed. In July, Mr Singh applied for a multi-entry tourist visa which does not allow individuals to work in the UK. This was refused because the entry clearance officer was not satisfied that Mr Singh would stick to the terms of the visa, given inconsistencies in his application and supporting documentation. The rules are firm but fair and apply to everyone.

    link to

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Whether their rules are “firm and fair” or not, this really hurts. Trust me, I know. These people are heartless work-shy, paper-pushing social workers, and they are quite ready to take £500 of your money for an appointment and say “no” to such requests if they feel like it.

      No, you don’t get your £500 back.

    • Phil Armstrong says:

      Unfortunately, because of the rise of the BNP, the current Labour government are going to be acting like a complete bunch of craven, spineless gits about immigration at least until the next general election. I know one or two people who are trying to get their full “right to stay” visa sorted asap, for precisely this reason.

      Trying to come in on a tourist visa after you’ve been turned down for a work visa is just going to raise red flags for immigration sadly & they don’t have any compassion (or much room for compromise once their aware of an issue): it’s drummed out of them by the work.

      His best bet is probably to marry his girlfriend if she’ll have him…

    • Starky says:

      With an uncle who’s one of those heartless work-shy, paper pushing socialists, I can say with fairly reliable knowledge that you’re wrong.

      My uncle is as nice a bloke as you’d ever meet, but he HAS to follow the rules to the letter, he can’t make exceptions no matter the case, or how sorry he feels for people. He’s not allowed.

      It’s a rigid and massive system and for good reason, because there are thousands of people who try and abuse that system every month.
      Immigration is often one of British people’s favourite bitching subjects; either for letting all those foreigners in fist shaking at a system that’s too soft and not hard enough, or tutting at how broken and cruel the system is to nice people.

      Frankly the system is one of the best, and probably fairest in the world – if a little too heavy on the bureaucracy (but then isn’t everything – we are after all a nation of middle-men) – but it’s still under massive pressure from all sides.
      Still slated as rubbish, by all sides, for all reasons often those reasons utterly contradictory.

      Have a serious think about it one day, how massive the problem is – how anything you try to put into place, any problem you try and fix in the system will be seen as a failure by some political viewpoint. How each and every policy you implement to help those who have legitimate reason to be and stay in the country is abused endlessly by those who don’t.

      Then maybe you might get some idea that you get some idea what the people who work in immigration have to deal with.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Starky I’m sure that your uncle is a nice chap (honest), but it’s almost impossible to feel reasonable about such people when – as you say – they become jaded, particularly if it’s towards someone who just happens to be the most important person in one’s life.

      My partner – if anyone hadn’t already guessed – was about ready to apply for a visa extension earlier this year, but without prior warning and the same week we were about to send off the papers the home office not only stopped giving out those visas, but basically said to us my partner would have to find work and apply for a tier 2 work permit.Within two weeks of her current visa expiring.

      She is also from a country that isn’t within the “European Economic Area”, which means even if she visits she cannot do so for more than six months at a time, and she can’t just come and work over here if she wants to. Oh, and she wants to be a doctor here, not some petty labourer.

      This is the kind of shit we have to deal with, and it’s intolerable.

  21. EthZee says:

    I prefer this guide to apostrophes. Quick and to the point.

  22. TeeJay says:

    Of course if you invest £750,000 in a UK company and £250,000 in a house, you don't take employment and spend half the year in the UK then government will give you a 3 year 'investors' visa and after 5 years, permanent residency (as long as your net worth hasn't fallen). Your partners and dependent children are free to work and attend school.
    <i>“The rules are firm but fair and apply to everyone”</i>

  23. The Pink Ninja says:

    I remember I was stuck all day on a Lost Vikings 2 puzzle, went to bed and woke up with the answer.

  24. guisim says:

    I play Street Fighter 4 a lot. When I’m stuck on a hard trial ( some of them are extremely hard ), I like to try it before I go to sleep. The next day, my execution is usually much better.

    Sometimes, I remember dreaming about practicing the game in general or some combo in particular.

    I really think that sometimes I play a gaming simulation while I sleep.

  25. Lucas says:

    Has anybody played Transcendence? Would you recommend it? link to

  26. Edgar the Peaceful says:

    I would LOVE to read an RPS / Banks face-off.

  27. Jack says:

    The Alan Moore interview is fantastic

  28. ascagnel says:

    If it wasn’t for Quinns, SWAT 4 would remain lonely in its box.

    Damnit, Quinns.

  29. Sagan says:

    There is of course also one great western porn RPG: A Dance with Rogues. It is probably the second best RPG of 2006, and the best porn game of that same year. I think either Kieron or John should play it and write about it.

  30. terry says:

    Bacon hats make grammar fun!

  31. wat says:

    I think an RPG would indeed be best. Or probably closer to an Adventure, because you couldn’t make it combat-heavy, for if the Culture engages in combat it is either a very one-sided affair or completely beyond human comprehension.

  32. Perry Bothron says:

    With regards to the apostrophe chart, although old, this is still good:

    link to

  33. Moot says:

    I am delighted to see that I share the same vision as Iain M Banks in wanting to see Consider Phlebas on the big screen.

  34. Hattered says:

    Related to the article about Nikhil Singh, the guy who does Piled Higher and Deeper did a three-part comic about being detained at Heathrow:
    link to

  35. GCU Speak Softly says:

    A Special Circumstances FPS anyone?

    • Gap Gen says:

      Special Circumstances could be a bit like an ultra-futuristic version of Crysis, I guess. Some of the bits they fight in in the books reminds me a lot of that, but with extra cool toys.

      I think it’s the sort of thing where the universe is big enough that you could just make up events, too. Maybe follow a SC agent through the Iridian War, or something.

  36. Casimir's Blake says:

    Such was my desperation for dungeon-crawlers, I happened upon one of the games mentioned in that hentai article “Words Worth”. Thankfully it’s relatively free of “NSFW material” – shall we say – and it turned out to be a simple but highly addictive first person 3D dungeon crawler. Not nearly as deep as Ultima Underworld, but it certainly scratched that itch. There’s a translation out there too, supposedly.

    I do wish there were more first-person dungeon crawlers out there… :(

  37. Casimir's Blake says:

    Oh, and apologies to everyone for double-posting, but I’d like to say – from very personal experience – a particularly emphatic “fuck you” to the home office. This government let in tons of unwanted refugees, and still make it really rather unpleasantly fucking difficult for someone that is not from the European Economic Area to enter the country legitimately to work or study.

  38. Starky says:

    To be honest this kind of Visa thing is to be somewhat expected, and you can’t really blame the people who work at the airports.

    They have to follow the rules, it’s their job -even if the rules are complicated and often ignore reality for tick boxes on some kind of checklist.

    The reality is most Visa workers (my uncle being one of them and always having stories) see hundreds of people a day, and have to deal with dozens in detail.
    Many of those, if not the majority are trying to get into the country and stay here permanently, they’ll lie, cheat, claim ignorance to the rules and basically do everything they can to get around the system.

    So is it shocking that many workers get a bit jaded when dealing with people?

    Yes it sucks that there are some qualified, well meaning people who probably would be upstanding productive British citizens, who fail due to slipping in the cracks of the rules.

    Only an idiot would deny the need for any country (especially one with such a social support system as ours) the need to control it’s borders.
    It’s just not as easy as some people think, how do you decide who gets in and who doesn’t? how do you judge what counts as qualified, experienced or skilled enough?

    While I’m sure most would agree needing a degree is a bit much (especially for highly skilled vocational trades), what limit do you set for a Academic Visa?

    Some might complain that they dropped the artistic visa, but from what I’ve been told they did it for good reason, as it was the prime method of getting a visa under false pretence, second only to education visa’s.

    It’s just a shame that people like this published graphic novel artist, got stuck in the system, while tems (if not hundreds) of thousands of Asian and eastern European skill-less workers slip through the system daily.
    All they do most of the time is throw away their passports once they get inside the country, lie about their names and identities – because if no one knows who they are you can’t deport them (no country will except a them without identification). Nor can you hold them in detention or prison while the authorities investigate who they are.
    All they can do is take finger prints and DNA and release them, hoping that next time they get caught, they’ll have an identity for them.

    It’s one of the prime reasons the government wants biometric ID to become law, even for part time Visa’s.

    • Morph says:

      Agreed. Policing immigration is such a mind-numbingly huge operation that stories like this are going to come up all the time. There have to be policies in place, and it’s just unfortunate that sometimes odd cases are going to come along.

      Immigration workers have to follow these policies to the letter, because if they let one person through then that starts setting a precedent, and people who don’t deserve to be let through will try and take that route.

  39. Bret says:

    Got my mitts on S.W.O.R.D. today.

    Quite good so far, even with Death’s Head’s tusks being disappointingly small.

    So, cheers Kieron. Got me into a comic store for the first time in months, and I’m quite pleased with my purchase, even at four bucks.

  40. Masarius says:

    The Culture aren’t always superior to everything in Banks’ universe, have you read Excession?