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The Sunday Papers

Sundays. Sundays are for dreaming of another world. Or perhaps Another World, depending on what sort of dreams you have. It is also for skimming across a week of internet links and wondering how all this could happen – why doesn’t everyone just sit down and have a rest? Eh? It makes little sense to me.

  • I wanted to link to this post by Jeff Vogel (which I got to from this follow up), but actually it’s worth checking out a lot of the stuff on his blog. Vogel makes turn-based RPGs in a fairly traditional way, and makes a living from that, and as such his insights on what it means to be indie have a depth that other, less experienced indies perhaps do not: “The 10000 Hour Rule is about crushing dreams. It’s about understanding that there are limits to what you can do in the all-too-short period of time we spend on this Earth. It’s about giving people who have achieved mastery the respect they deserve. It’s about, before taking on a new task, honestly evaluating whether we can afford to give what it takes to complete it. And it’s about forgiving yourself for not being able to play the guitar like Hendrix.”
  • Gamasutra’s Where Are They Now? Tracking The Trajectories Of Classic Developers is quite an interesting read, especially if you are an old man of games like me.
  • Dinofarm Games on Why Sales Aren’t Good For Most Indies: “If you strain your memory and try to look back beyond the mists of time and into the long forgotten eons of 5 or 6 years ago, you’d remember that the price for a desktop indie game used to be about $15-20. A cheap “casual” game would cost you maybe $10, and at these prices if you’d sell a couple of thousand copies you’d have (hopefully) covered your meager development costs & could afford to work on your next game. Of course not everything was giggles and ponycorns, but people understood that price point to be the expected, normal price of an indie game. That is, however, no longer the case.”
  • Brilliantly, Gnome’s Lair has taken time out to catalogue all the various classic games mag collections that can be found online.
  • This is one of the best write-ups of Saints Row The Third I have read: “They’re up against Mexican Wrestler gangsters and computer geek gangsters, and the military declares martial law and invades the city with high-tech weaponry that the Saints get to steal and use in their own arsenal. In this messed-up cartoony nihilistic game universe, being a murderous psychopath becomes the only logical choice to make, but you’re a NICE murderous psychopath who’s loyal to your mates.”
  • In case someone hadn’t already sold it to you, the appeal of the grindiness of console sword ’em up Dark Souls is explained here.
  • Could Duke Nukem have been saved?
  • Digital Foundry’s Skyrim timelapse is very pretty, but goes on about six minutes too long…
  • VG247 spots that someone “remade” the GTAV trailer in GTAIV. I am not sure whether to be impressed or to suggest that this person find other uses for their time?
  • Speaking of Skrim, here’s a fully annotated map.
  • This post on mainstream media coverage of games is astute, depressing: “Coverage of the game industry as business news will inevitably include sales data, and it’s certainly newsworthy that the COD franchise generates big revenue numbers. But Montaigne’s conversation with Harold Goldberg (G4TV) wasn’t a business report. The segment focused on “this season’s hot video games…” and Goldberg’s remarks were limited to 20-second blurbs – on COD: “It’s almost a lifestyle for certain people”; on Skyward Sword: “…at once sweet, adventuresome, heartwarming, and a little scary; on Skyrim: “It’s much more than slaying dragons; it’s building up your character…” Goldberg does the best he can, but the segment is yet another consumer-focused “game buying guide” story that doesn’t say much about the games themselves.” Which is a problem, of course, when a section on books or movies would always try to say something about their topic, however shallow an analysis that might be.
  • Splash Damage not that it’s ten years since Return To Castle Wolfenstein.
  • Amazing bike-wheel animations.
  • Printrbot looks awesome. I am getting one.
  • I am pretty sure everyone in the world has seen Warriors Of Goja by now, but if not. They know what to do.

Music this week is Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto’s summvs, particularly this track. But the whole album is good. (And on Spotify!)

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Jim Rossignol

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