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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for writing cryptic introductory paragraphs that lead into a list of videogame writings collected from across the internet. What could it possibly mean? Let’s see if we can decode the cypher.

  • There’s a lot been said about Rage this week, here’s Dead End Thrills’ take on it. It’s interesting to see what megatextures mean for taking someone intent on taking screenshots – yes, there are some spectacular vistas, but just don’t look too closely: “It’s an old-school faker. The abrupt colour-grading that simulates HDR; the tiny flocks of birds against a flat and frozen sky; the vast shadowmaps imposing the stage’s authority on the actors: these aren’t ugly, just conspicuous. Then there’s sparse virtual texturing (aka the MegaTexture), an illusion so data-intensive that it would, some suggest, take something in the region of 80-130gb more data to give it the consistent detail you’d expect.”
  • Rob Fahey seems to have touched a nerve by saying that closed platforms aren’t all that bad (login required) and then stabs a nerve with a pencil by saying that Steam is the only way to be a commercial success on PC. That said, I do think the “Steam or no sale” culture we’re seeing now, particularly towards indie games, is crappy. Buy direct, give the creators the money, not the distributors.
  • Eskil Steenberg writes an open letter to John Carmack. It’s largely an attack on Id’s going with current trends and making art-led games: “Get a team of no more then ten people, purposefully don’t have more then 2 artists and maybe one level designer on that team and make something in 12-18 months, and dont make it perfect, make it different. Build an engine based on Raytracing, Voxels, particles, Signed Distance fields, vorenoi patterns, or something else we haven’t seen. Make something that requires 16 cores, or what ever, just push the envelope in some way. Don’t tell a story, don’t make a world, make a decent [does he mean Descent? – Ed] or a Counterstrike something that doesn’t live on content. With a fourth of the time and a tenth of the staff, ill bet you it will be a better investment then Rage.”
  • The Guardian on what Ofcom are doing to investigate ITV saying Arma 2 was footage of terrorist action.
  • Future Looks compares Steam to Origin. Could do better.
  • Eurogamer got Relic to look back on Space Marine: “”Was it our best work?” mulled producer Andy Lang when quizzed by Eurogamer. “It was our best console work.” (It was their only console work.)
  • Neal Stephenson’s company working on “The Mongoliad”: “Stephenson discussed this in small detail at his GDC Online keynote speech. When journalist Geoff Keighley asked him if current project The Mongoliad — a collaborative novel which follows an elite squad of knights on an assassination mission — would make a good game, Stephenson chuckled and allowed that it might.”
  • I won’t link to Three Moves Ahead every week, but I easily could.
  • BnBGaming’s healthy Indiecade round-up.
  • Valve’s writers on the creative process: “Wolpaw: “That whole game is us desperately trying to keep our jobs.””
  • How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Achievements, by Jody MacGregor.
  • Gamers Can’t Handle The Imperium: “I don’t think a lot of gamers would be comfortable playing the role of a real Space Marine. In fact, with today’s culturally enlightened, almost post-modern approach to gaming, I very much doubt the game would leave shelves without some heavy criticism. If you tell people you are making a real WH40k game, complete with xenophobic epithets, religious persecution, wholesale murder, apostate killing, environmental destruction and human sacrifice, you might have to set up a website to handle the outrage.”
  • More disaster for Project Zomboid. Unbelievable.
  • What will the box art of FIFA 13 be like? Science!
  • Krystian Majewski is not happy with Vimeo’s treatment of his indie games videos:
  • Blimey, all of Tarkovsky’s films are free online. Including the Stalker movie.
  • It’s time for new electricity pylons, apparently. Should they be shaped like giant ants?
  • Music! Music. I’ve spent the week listening to Thomas Köner. Is that music? Perhaps not.

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Jim Rossignol

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