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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for transcribing 20,000 words of interviews long ago recorded, but before I type my fingers into bloodied stumps, lets round up the week’s best wordythoughts about viddygames.

  • Time sent a war photographer into The Last Of Us, which is a great idea I wish was carried out in Arma 3.
  • None of the game’s characters show distress, and that to me was bizarre – it’s a post apocalyptic scenario, with a few remaining humans fighting for the survival of their race! To be successful, a player must be the perpetrator of extreme, and highly graphic, violence. I’m interested in a more emotionally engaged type of photography, where the human reaction to a scene is what brings a story to life. That was tough inside this game. Occasionally the characters show anger, though generally they’re nonchalant about the situation they’ve found themselves in. In the end, their emotions mimicked that of the zombies they were killing.

  • itch.io is an indie game store with a good selection of unusual games. Its creator recently posted an interesting look at the stats of the site, breaking down money made, its sources, and where it’s coming from.
  • This chart shows how much has been paid to developers since the site’s launch. The first few months were quite a drought. You might be asking what happened to bump the revenue between September and December of 2013. Since launching the site I was actively building new features (like game sales, embeddable game widgets, tiered pricing among others) but they weren’t having a significant impact. New content was essential. I got my first games that people were actually interested in buying.

  • This week Kill Screen published Poly-Generational, a three-part look at the history of low-poly art. It starts with low-poly as-necessity and follows through to its resurgence as a deliberate aesthetic choice, and it’s a lovely example of how our medium has developed.
  • The true distinction between modern low-poly and “original” low-poly, then, is intent. There’s a tremendous difference between deploying formal techniques in a rudimentary way out of necessity and deploying them in an enlightened way out of choice. In comparison to the low-poly artists of the mid-’90s, today’s low-poly advocates are primarily doing the latter, even when faced with practical limitations. And they’re doing so despite the fact that more traditionally realistic visual styles are available.

  • Much of the past week’s games writing has been inevitably focused on Destiny, which is not on PC. Still, you should read this on how the game’s architecture inspires contemplation. Afterwards, read more on the same site; I love its measured, drip-drip-drip style.
  • One of the bigger problems of modern games is they never take the time to allow the player to occupy a space.

    Either through a rushed narrative or weak action, the game is pushing the player forward without any real presence.

    Destiny forces you to explore and re-explore a place over and over again. It asks the player to pay attention to the world.

  • Also worth reading, Brenna Hillier’s review of Destiny at VG247 is funny, accurate.
  • A good week for single-sentence paragraphs.

    The problem with Destiny is that it’s too much like Halo.

    The problem with Destiny is that it’s not enough like Halo.

    The problem with Destiny is that it’s just “Halo the MMO”. Nobody wants Halo. Nobody wants MMOs.

  • Tom Senior at PC Gamer looks back at Relic’s Dawn of War, which is now ten years-old, and talks to the development team about why it endures.
  • It also granted Dawn of War’s battles a refreshing sense of immediacy. At the time the RTS relied heavily on the hypnotic rhythm of mining and building. The base-stomping final third of an encounter served more as a congratulatory firework display than an expression of combat. Dawn of War is about aggression. From the opening seconds of a fight you’re taking, holding and repelling. The Warhammer fantasy demanded a game about conquest, not administration.

  • Jenn Frank was coaxed out of retirement this week to explain why she loves videogames, and the result is personal, relatable and uplifting:
  • When I was around 12, my adoptive mother encouraged me to tell a family friend what I wanted to be when I grew up. “I want to write computer games!” I told her triumphantly. “I’m going to be a designer!”

    “Well, then,” the woman warned, “you won’t be able to have children.”

  • Yesterday was Elite’s 30th anniversary. To celebrate, Scott Manley played the original as part of his space-game endeavours. I did not know that’s why the rotating spaceship flickers on the menu screen.
  • How Rayman Legends was made, a video.
  • This interview with Paul Haynes, level designer on Crysis 3, Dirt and Homeland 2 is full of interesting detail and development images.
  • How to fix Star Trek Generations is fun thought experiment. Here’s how I would fix Insurrection: burn it.
  • Kirk should be the one to persuade Picard to leave the Nexus, not the other way around. There was no need for Whoopi Goldberg’s Guinan to be Picard’s guide through the Nexus. They had already set up the idea that Kirk was sucked into the Nexus while he was saving the Enterprise-B, so they didn’t need anyone else.

  • A long New Yorker profile of Bill Cosby.
  • Music this week is electronic. First, the brooding synths of Makeup And Vanity Set; second, the dreamwave dance beats of Vogel. Music to play Amiga games to.

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    Who am I?

    Graham Smith

    Editor-in-chief

    Graham is to blame for all this.

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