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The Sunday Papers

Sunday mornings are for waking up and… no, I’m not actually awake. No point trying to pretend that I am. Try as I might to coax some consciousness from the soggy depths of my skull, the truth is that today is only twitch of the needle before the oblivion of bed once again. I suppose that is what Sundays are for.

  • Polygon’s Arkane/Bethesda/IonStorm article about the men designing Dishonored is quite the thing to behold. I mean, blimey. But also really? Also, some good anecdotes: “There are some problems, though, that QA can’t fix, and when Ultima VIII is released, it has a lot of them. One hundred, by Smith’s counting. Smith is so frustrated by the state of this game that he writes a list detailing the reasons why he didn’t like it. All 100 of them. “I literally said it was a slap in the face to Ultima fans and RPG fans,” Harvey said. “And I sent it to my boss. I don’t know why I did it, but it was the kind of thing I did back then.” Harvey Smith in proto-angry internet man shocker! Sort of.
  • Gamasutra talk to Ocean Quigley – of all the best names for developers, that’s the one for me – about Sim City: “So, for example, if you see a car parked in front of a building, it’s because there’s somebody inside that building. And if there wasn’t anybody inside that building, the car wouldn’t be there. Or if the lights are on in the building, it means that the power is on, and that there’s somebody inside that building. Or if you see green terrain, it’s because that terrain is watered. Or if you see a house with graffiti on it, it’s because a crime has occurred there, and so forth. Right?”
  • Bioshock’s JP LeBreton talked to Idle Thumbs. It’s an amazing video-walkthrough talk talk, and PCG’s Tom Francis did his best to encapsulate it: “The cave-in that forces you to take a detour into Arcadia is triggered by walking through a particular chunk of space, and triggers a little earlier if you happen to be looking in the right direction as you approach. JP recalls a speed-runner figured out both these conditions, and managed to stack objects to climb a tree and jump over the trigger. Since he also knew that looking at the door would trigger the blockage, he had to do the whole thing while very purposefully looking the other way.”
  • An interesting article about Chris Crawford: “The Dragon Speech was Crawford’s impassioned call for change. He was disappointed in the direction that many designers were taking. He wanted games to be a medium for artistic expression, an aspiration he felt his contemporaries did not share. So he announced that he was leaving the industry in order to pursue that dream. Crawford described his goal as the metaphorical slaying of a dragon. At the climax of the speech he grasped a sword, unsheathed it from its scabbard, held it aloft and cried “For truth! For beauty! For art! Charge!” – and galloped out of the room.”
  • While you are over at Eurogamer, have a read of this Ed McMillen interview: “I don’t remember what it was called back then, but there was a family website. It was like Facebook, but only your family could log in. You could show each other what you’d been working on. I have a baby, this person turned three, that sort of stuff. So I decided, since I was invited to the McMillen Facebook page, whatever the hell it was, that I was going to show my work too. I started posting my comics and stuff like that, and they were very offended, removing it and telling me to never post anything else. And of course it would just make me do more, until I got banned from my own family’s website.”
  • Steven Poole and I agree on something! It’s a piece about the weakness of PS3 game Journey’s ending. I want to write something about the weakness of that entire game at some point, but I don’t get much time for writing about console games for some reason.
  • The Artistry Of Code: “We are artists who don’t create art. We are creative souls driven not by emotion, but by the rigors of logic an mathematical perfection. We write poetry that is not about love and desire but about function and procedural complexity. But we too seek beauty and aesthetic perfection in our work. If you put three programmers in a room, each of them will probably have a different opinion on how the code should be structured, what practices should be followed or even what language and/or text editor should be used. The most interesting part is that all of them will probably be correct, or at the very least have valid points.”
  • Kotaku Australia’s Kate Williams has something to say: “When I sit down at a computer, my left hand falls automatically into the inverted-V shape known well by all of you; middle three fingers arched across W, A, S and D. Pinky hovering over left-shift, my thumb resting lightly on the space bar. There’s a poetic comfort in this for me. I do it without thinking. These letters are the ones I always come home to.”
  • This clip from a stealth blog Sneaky Bastards interview with Warren Spector is quite the thing.
  • I don’t often link to IGN, you might have noticed, but I was interested to see an eye cast back to the original Medal of Honour. I remember playing it back in the day, when it wasn’t even clear that it would be such a big deal, and saying “this is a big deal”. Turns out it was a big deal.
  • Some more thoughts on videogame ultraviolence over at Split-Screen: “If you want to play realistic games, great. If you want simulated wind to affect the traversal of an imaginary bullet, that’s fantastic- but it’s not for me. I demand the right to fantasy: to ride a dragon through the stomach of an even bigger dragon, to dart through an avalanche on a snowboard while blue light streaks off the tail from an unknown source. I don’t care about the source: I care about the ride.”
  • Skyjackers’a alien fleet is amazing. They’re on Kickstarter, you know.
  • I was interested to read Jean Snow’s response to watching Indie Game: The Movie: ” I’m shocked at how irresponsible the creators of the documentary were in portraying a situation that was far more complex than what was shown, not even trying to give a full picture of what was happening, thereby turning my friend into a villain.”

Music this week is from Rachel Evans.

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Jim Rossignol

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