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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for not actually being attached to your node of Precious Mother Internet, and instead wandering around in the midwinter gloom of a holiday camp, somewhere in The West. Fortunately, you have already prepared a list of interesting web-materials for other people to browse through, and need only set it in motion…

  • Do you read much of Troy Goodfellow’s blog? You probably should. Here he is writing about the Aztec national character, as seen through the lens of Civ. He’s doing a bunch of similar Civ posts. But there’s lots more, like this look back at Soldiers Of Anarchy. The podcast is worth a look, too. So go look!
  • The increasingly outspoken Mr Minecraft has had a thing or two to say about piracy this week. “If someone pirates Minecraft instead of buying it, it means I’ve lost some “potential” revenue. Not actual revenue, as I can never go into debt by people pirating the game too much, but I might’ve made even more if that person had bought the game instead.” It’s just common sense, eh publishers?
  • Simon Parkin’s piece on videogame music is definitely worth a look. I wrote something covering similar topics a couple of years back.
  • I agree with the principle of this editorial on the need for new experiences within mainstream games. Limbo is a clever example to run with, too. Limbo was pretty, atmospheric, and had some clever puzzles, and it’s exactly the kind of thing that someone like me will point out is an old fashioned trial-and-error, death-fail side-scroller. I’m personally not clamouring for many more of those, which is kind of the point the author is trying to make here, I think.
  • 1C UK’s Darryl Still talks about the relationship between retail and digital distribution: “To recap: on a sale over the counter today, we can have our £3 by the end of March, or on a digital sale, we can have £20 by Christmas. Remind me why we should choose to go with retail and decline to let Steam sell the game?”
  • Also on the topic of games distribution, the master of the Bargain Bucket, Lewie Procter, has created an awards event for the most bargainous bargain platforms – retail, digital, and miscellaneous – of the year. Comprehensive!
  • The Wall Street Journal examines the appeal of Angry Birds (the mobile game, obviously): “The author Salman Rushdie in a recent radio interview called himself “something of a master at Angry Birds.” And comedian Conan O’Brien posted a YouTube video recently to promote his new talk show, in which he boasts that he’s on level four of Angry Birds.” Maybe, but I’d kick your arse at Quake, Salman!
  • More from Meer on the PC landscape and future after the graphics card wars. (Registration required!)
  • Also, Meer points out this video of a special new gun, which is about as frightening as things can be.
  • A couple of interesting observations about the possibilities for applying psychology to game mission design: “34% of people who got a 10-stamp card with 2 freebies ended up coming back enough to redeem the cards, compared to 19% of customers who started with an unstamped card requiring only 8 stamps.”
  • The Irrational Podcast interview thing features Zack Snyder. Worth a listen.
  • Spacelog is awesome. Also note how crude some of the tech is: they were navigating Apollo rockets by looking at the constellations.
  • This dude’s art needs to be a game.

If I were listening to music right now, which seems like something I might do, then it would probably be this. I’ll be seeing you next week, Sunday Papists!

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Jim Rossignol

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