Hello readers of the Rock Paper Shotgun weblog. I am Hercule Poirot, famous detective. Hastings and myself were passing an enormous, sleeping monster when our attention was drawn to some repetitive tapping. While Hastings dismissed it as mysterious indigestion, I recognised the pattern was Morse code for S-O-S. I started a rhythmic conversation on the beast’s belly, discovering that several young men and Kieron were trapped inside it. I started to suggest a plan of escape, but was interupted by a most insistent message. Escape can wait, says the figure who identified himself as Kieron. First, there must be a list of fine reading compiled across the week with – I’m not sure if this is right – without some manner of popular song at the end. This is the aforementioned list, which I now transcribe for you, my friends.
- Walker and Alec in the Eurogamer end of year malarkies. Alec writes about Canabalt (I suspect I’d have written the whole piece just using one key, if I were commissioned to do it). Walker writes about Dragon Ages, specifically using a tiny subquest as an example of the game’s detail (I suspect I’d have written it in the form of Morrigan/Shale slashfic). So it’s probably just as well I didn’t write it.
- Derek Yu does TIGSource’s indie year in review article: “The prevailing idea has been that the independent games community is getting bigger each year: more games, more people, more quality, more press. Partway through 2009, however, I was getting the impression that we were in a lull,” he starts. I agree with that. After 2008, 2009 was a relatively quiet indie year. But, as Derek shows, there’s a hell of a lot of interesting things going on.
- Meanwhile, looking to the indie future, Edmund McMillen has a – whisperit – manifesto over at IndieGames. Indie Games Dos and Don’ts. It’s like Vice magazine, but with Indie game wisdom, and less hipster mocking by mockworthy hipsters.
- EXPERIMENTAL MODDERS IN KNIFE-FIGHT! Well, not that bad. Robert “Radiator” Yang expresses his reservations with Lewis “Post-Script” Denby (And Dear Esther’s) game-as-ghost-train sort of approach. I admit, while I suspect I’m generally on Robert’s side, that leaning so heavily on what other critics has said Makes A Game is probably a mistake. Experiences like Dear Esther’s approach intrinsically challenges all those beliefs, so re-stating wisdom – or, as Dear Esther may argue, Dogma – doesn’t exactly prove much.
- And Tale of Tales pick a fight with the whole world again. Here’s their picks for the IGF. I admit, I’ve got an enormous soft spot for this kind of thing.
- Enough Indie Bitchiness. Here’s the story about Blizzard helping track down criminals.
- Hyperbrain Steven Shaviro on the film Gamer. Enormous, and I haven’t digested it all yet, so I’m putting it here mainly to remind myself.
- Alasdair Stuart writes about the latest edition to the Gumshoe system, Mutant System Blues. I actually started making proper notes on a Phonogram RPG system
over christmaswhilst stuck in the belly of this enormous monster, so this kind of stuff is on my mind.
- It’s that time of year. Here’s the Independent’s tips on keeping New Year’s Resolutions. I forget who on twitter did a “My New Years Resolution is 1600×1200” gag, but I applaud.
- Comrade Sheret on pop in the 00s. Strong.
- After I published my Top 40 tracks of 2009, Walker asked me if I’d seen the version of Weezer’s (If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To with the Letterman house band. You know, the one with the horns. I hadn’t, but I’m glad he showed met.
Oh my, dear tapping-man! You have failed in your mission not to include a popular song. Ah, the noxious fumes of the guts must have confused you. My sympathies. I will return to the creature to bring news of his failure, via the mechanism of Morse’s code. I remain your humble servant.