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The Sundays Papers

They Sunday Papers! Here they are again, this is what Sundays are for. I’ve been detonating dynamite in the murky depths of the internet and collecting what floats to the surface. Let’s take a look at my sack full of stunned links.

  • Well I don’t usually put video links as the lead article on the SP, but GDC have posted Thomas Grip’s Evoking Emotions and Achieving Success By Breaking All The Rules, a talk about the making of Amnesia. Everyone who is even vaguely interested in how games are made, and why they are made in the way that they are made, should watch this. (Oh and you should buy Amnesia, if you haven’t already.)
  • Richard Cobbett explains How To Save Adventure Games.
  • This article (a few months old now) on Ultima, Wizardry, and issues of video game historiography raises a few issues about the rapidly dwindling capacity to access gaming’s past that we bump into on RPS from time to time. Worth a look.
  • Eurogamer’s Martin Robinson asks: What’s the best story a videogame has ever told? I am sure we’ve discussed this on RPS, too. It’s one of those topics that will always haunt us.
  • Via Blues, this is an interesting analysis of microtransactions. Businessy, yes, but tight. And it points out where some of the dangers lie.
  • The creators of rather lovely puzzly shooter, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, (which may or may not be coming to PC) talk to Gamasutra about going indie full time: ” I worked in Hollywood for 15 years. I was head of special effects for Warner Brothers Feature Animation. I could have kept going — climbing up the ladder. I had a big team. I was the head of my department. But I wanted to pursue my individual artistic vision, rather than dealing with the executives and the system. Since then, I’ve been doing books, graphic novels, and short films. One was shortlisted for an Oscar. Shadow Planet is the next part of my vision.”
  • Are games reviewers bad at games? Well John is a terrible healer.
  • Are we headed for a second videogame crash? Probably not.
  • If you want more Jonathan Blow then I advise you check out the Brainy Gamer podcast, where they speak to him.
  • The Guardian’s Keith Stuart talks DXHR and choice: “Providing choice within a functioning narrative is complex, because player choices often clash with pre-prepared plot sequences. I met the producers of Far Cry 2 a couple of months before the game’s launch and they were burned out wrecks – they’d spent months designing the plot and its attendant cut-scenes and webs of causation, so that the player couldn’t stumble upon inaccuracies or discrepancies by trying missions in the ‘wrong order’. They weren’t entirely successful, of course, and the nightmare of this endeavour perhaps explains why Far Cry 3 looks to be a much more focused beast.”
  • Kotaku have been busy cataloguing the various Easter Eggs to be found in DXHR.
  • Leigh Alexander writes about that console game with the messed-up relationships, Catherine, over on The Escapist: “while some of the early hype may have simply been a consequence of the old “sex sells” principle, I prefer to believe gamers were exceptionally attentive to Catherine because of the promise it seemed to make with surreal dream images and the presentation of a deceptively-complex romantic choice: That it would be a “mature” game in the truest sense, that it would deal with adulthood and sexuality – less that there would be attractive women on display therein.”
  • Another me-link this week, except I didn’t actually write this one. How To Make An Infinite World is a piece by my dev team’s programmer Tom Betts, where he talks about the voxel-engine he is making for our second game, Lodestone.
  • The Game Design Of Everyday Things, by Tom Armitage.
  • My new favourite Flickr feed.

Music this week is via Notch, who points out that Plaid’s Squance is great. This track by Plaid is good, too. Plaid are good.

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Jim Rossignol

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