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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for toast, cereal, eggs, fruit, and always tea. They are for knowing that winter is coming. And they are for taking some time to read, because what would life be without strings of characters formed into intelligible sentences?

  • Eurogamer features a mysterious and handsome writer called Alec Meer, and his words are words about UFO: Enemy Unknown. He speaks only truth: “X-COM was always a game about losing, and not too far departed from those same masochistic tendencies that inform Dark Souls today. The losses, the causalities, the skating on the brink of disaster has to happen in order that those few snatched victories feel hard-won and meaningful.”
  • Cara Ellison says Reader, I Dated a Gamer: “Sex is a hybrid rhythm action and roleplaying game from the developers behind Fighting and Talking. You take control of one of two characters (though mods have enabled support for several more) and attempt to induce a paroxysm in your opponent through a mixture of theatre, gymnastics and button-mashing. “
  • IronClad do a post-mortem on the most recent Sins game, and emphasize the importance of beta-testing with real players: “In the end, the community yelled loud enough to snap us out of our spell. It added a hiccup to the beta and an unwanted scramble towards the end of an otherwise smooth dev cycle, but disaster was averted. It forced our hand — to focus both on the desynchronization issues we had introduced and the ones that had been there all along. This was a blessing in disguise, as it resulted in a multiplayer experience that was much more stable than any other title in the series.”
  • We link to examples of videogames as therapy fairly regularly, but this one is particularly poignant.
  • Some interesting criticism of Dishonored’s approach, in contrast to Deus Ex.
  • This is worth a read, although I think there are many other games that could be even more appropriate examples: “In some sense, then, I am almost coming to think of The Binding of Isaac and FTL as examples of anti-Bioshocks, games that do not presume the player can only succeed by following a script, but that the player can develop a sensibility of his or her own about play and through which victories that can only be attributed to you, as that player, are achieved.”
  • I always enjoy a bit of Exploration For Exploration’s Sake: “Four British indie developers have taken this desire and made it the biggest part of their game. The Chinese Room has already had great success with Dear Esther but I’m going to focus on what I played at the Eurogamer Expo. Proteus, Dirac, Dream and Kairo were all at the expo this year and I must admit it wasn’t the ideal place to play them. They require a chunk of free time that you don’t mind losing and being slightly unsure where it all went.”
  • Citizen Game talk to Stainless about Carmageddon: “We certainly altered out kickstarter campaign based on feedback that we got during the campaign. For instance, what platforms people might like to see. You know we wouldn’t be doing a Linux version if it weren’t for kickstarter. Obviously you have to take a view if its just a few people shouting loudest or if there’s a real demand for these things, we could sell three copies of the Linux version for all I know, but just the mere act of doing it, which is not too much extra work for us but it helps the campaign – it caused a blip in the kickstarter campaign, an upward blip, which is good.”
  • Spacegamejunkie talks to the Blackspace team: “We are setting out to release a story driven, hand crafted single player mode, where each asteroid brings a new challenge or a chance to prove your expertise. This is not to say that the entire story mode will be linear. There will be opportunity to explore random asteroids, establish extra bases to increase your income. The story is also where the user will find out why they are being paid to mine the asteroids in the face of such resistance.”
  • Mr Cobbett suggests ten Source Filmmaker films worth watching.
  • I love that people are meticulously cataloging this sort of stuff.
  • And I could pretty much link to Bldgblog every week, so take this as a general recommendation.
  • On the armed neutrality of Switzerland.

Music this week is the seasonally appropriate October Language, from Belong’s 2006 album of the same name.

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Jim Rossignol

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