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103

The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrghh.

  • Chris Plante on Klei: “The beta and two-for-one sale had a multiplicative effect, one Cheng recognizes probably can’t be repeated for every game. He credits the sense of discovery in Don’t Starve. When the beta went on sale on Steam, the most popular downloadable game platform on PC, the sales flew faster and faster. There was never a sales spike so much as a continual movement upwards.”
  • Leigh Alexander’s Man Cave Fan Fiction: “The CONSOLE was the centerpiece of the altar that dominated an entire great cavernous wall of the room. It sat like an omnipresent little sage beneath the broad black, chrome-accented Television. Mounted in the wall, the pores of speakers bookended the display. Little luminescent eyes of piercing blue and lime green winked on and off softly, a comforting rhythm, even though he could no longer remember the specific purpose of each.”
  • Richard Cobbett on Blood: “What made Blood special though was… well, actually two things. Firstly, while Duke Nukem had already established himself as the FPS hero with attitude, Caleb’s gravel-voice gave him a real run for his money. He’s a pure villain protagonist who happens to be fighting a bigger evil than himself at the moment, and spends most of the time quipping. Where Duke largely pinched lines from The Evil Dead and similar films though, Caleb’s world is made of horror references. His initial “I live… again!” gives way to constant quips or quotes. He’s a fun character, not least because he thoroughly enjoys his role as an avenging angel with jet black wings and arsenal of increasingly cruel weapons.”
  • QWOP Cosplay.
  • Paola Antonelli on acquiring video games for MoMA.
  • Abbott on genre: “We read and hear a lot of talk lately about “broken” or “worn-out” genres. At this year’s GDC, speaker after speaker bemoaned the state of an industry mired in me-too shooters devoid of new ideas. I don’t disagree with that assessment, but the solution often proposed (stop making so many shooters) strikes me as similar to asking an impressionist to stop painting so many blurry trees. The problem isn’t the form, but a lack of vision infusing the form with energy and life.”
  • David Sirlin announces Chess 2: “Chess 1 was a big hit, no question there, but a few issues have cropped up over the years. First, the original game ends in a draw uncomfortably often. Second, memorization (rather than on-the-spot intuition) ended up being much more important than the original developers intended. Even top players such as Fischer and Capablanca complained about this. Third, because it has no hidden information, the ability to capitalize on reading your opponent is more limited than it could be. And finally, the first version offered only a single army and one matchup.”
  • A Proteus time-lapse.
  • Rich Stanton on Final Fantasy VII: “Here’s an interesting thing: look at the gamefaqs page for Final Fantasy 7, and notice how many ‘In-depth guides’ there are – in other words, FAQs dealing with a singular aspect. Chocobo breeding (in-depth or simple?) and glitches, goodies alongside missable items, a mental guide to an early dating minigame, all rubbing shoulders with exhaustive GameShark-based exhumations. Whatever else you want to say about Final Fantasy 7, it did not lack substance.”
  • Jack Vance is dead.
  • Splendid article about space tech: “The original plan was for the two Voyager probes to fly past Jupiter and Saturn, returning both photographs and information from an array of instruments. Launching two nearly identical probes just days apart made it more likely at least one would succeed; happily, both did. Each one has three separate computers, each of which has its own backup. The tiny on-board memory in each system necessitated sending complete changes of program code from Earth to get the probes to perform different tasks: this was done 18 times during the Jupiter fly-by alone. Such reprogramming also made it easier to cope with unexpected problems and meant the probes could be taught new tricks.”
  • This.

Music today is this mix of random Boards Of Canada b-sides and such.

And back to bed.

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Jim Rossignol

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