The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for watching as many final games of the football season simultaneously as possible. But you don’t care about that. You care only for the fine writing about videogames.

  • Any Key To Start is a blog dedicated to reviewing game interfaces, such as Shadowrun, Shadow of Mordor, or Hearthstone.
  • I don’t know where I stumbled across this, but if you’re a fan of our video series Cogwatch, here’s Quintin Smith at Gamasutra in 2009 talking about the ‘heaviness’ of Demon’s Souls.
  • Demon’s Souls’ combat has been built around the concept of exhaustion. Just underneath your health is a stamina bar which drops like a stone when you sprint, attack, dodge or block. Try to block a blow without the stamina to soak it all up and you’ll take some of the damage, have your shield or weapon knocked wide and go staggering backwards.

    Likewise, if you’re stronger than an enemy and have the stamina then they’ll bounce off your shield and leave themselves open. Try an evasive roll when you don’t have the stamina and your character will fling themselves to the floor with a crash instead.

  • Oh, and a more recent bit of Quinns, this one on Netrunner, why it’s taken over his life, and why it should take over yours too. I checked but there appear to be no Netrunner meetups in Bath.
  • What makes this a still more fascinating system, though, is that even if the runner doesn’t slip an agenda from your hand or deck, even if they rummage through your discard pile and come up empty, they still learn something about your deck, your plan, your problems. A clever runner will remember what they’ve seen to better help them guess at face-down cards. A clever corp will use this to their advantage. The runner saw an intimidating curtain wall off the top of your deck? Fantastic. You immediately put down a card to protect a server which secretly isn’t the curtain wall at all, but a cheap pop-up window. With luck, the runner will assume they can’t get into that server, and you’ve still got the Curtain Wall for later.

  • While at Gamasutra, Adam reminded me of this recent article on the different kinds of cameras (as in, the view through which the player sees the game) in sidescrolling games. It is frighteningly detailed and brilliantly illustrated. Did I link it previously? I’m not going to check so here it is.
  • rking on my game Mushroom 11, I was faced with many different design and technology challenges. I wasn’t expecting to find references to issues like dynamically changing shapes or vertex animation, but I was quite surprised that camera work, a subject with more than 30 years of history in games, was hardly discussed.

    I decided to start a journey through the history of 2D gaming, documenting their challenges, approaches and how the evolution of their solutions. Also, since there’s a lack of proper terminology for the many different solutions, I started gathering and categorizing them into groups, providing my own glossary, if only for my personal reference.

  • PC Gamer continue to feel love for things and this week Tom Senior and Phil Savage hold hands and talk about virtual rainstorms. A fine subject.
  • Tom: Rain in games is amazing. So amazing that this week we’ve decided to double-team the topic, because two hot takes are better than one! I love rain because it can instantly change the mood of a game world. Done well, the hushed roar of a heavy downfall changes the entire soundscape, creates a universe of motion in rippling puddles underfoot and throws a glistening corona around sharp light sources like street lamps and neon signs. When a storm starts in GTA 5 I suddenly come over all melancholic, and have the sudden urge to walk slowly down the streets in a trenchcoat. I’ve found it’s better to just go with it when that happens.

    Phil: That’s the great thing about rain. It’s a mood whether, but a subtle one. It’s not as beautiful as snow, or as dramatic as lightning. Instead, it evokes a feeling of isolation and otherness. It closes the world in, and creates a barrier between you and everyone else. Rain is introspective. As you soak up the atmosphere in Los Santos, the pedestrians around you are huddling under archways or covering their heads. They’re reacting the way regular people do; the way a protagonist never would. For them, rain is an annoyance.

  • I missed this last week: an adjacent article to the New Yorker’s No Man’s Sky write-up, this one specifically focused upon the game’s sound. Top audio of what computers sound like when they scream.
  • Every vowel is defined by a narrow band of frequencies, known as a formant, which are created by the vocal tract as a whole—the way sound resonates throughout all its parts. White found a paper from 1962, titled “A Study of Formants of the Pure Vowels of British English.” The paper, based on recordings of twenty-five male subjects, contained a table of the relevant data. Late one night, alone in his Edinburgh studio, he copied the values for a vowel labeled “/a/ hard” and plugged them into his system. The digital resonance that White had created—with vocal chords, pharynx, and mouth all affecting each other—caused the utterance to take on human character, and the result was a blood-curdling scream. The voice broke, twisted, and grew hoarse during moments of high intensity. White gave me an MP3 of it, and I later played it for two people without telling them what it was. Both thought it came from an animal; one wondered if it was a person being tortured, and the other wondered if it was a goat. White recalled, “Two o’clock in the morning, headsets in, and the thing went ‘Aaaaahhhhh.’ I was sweating because it was so scary. But I was also like, This is working!”

  • Typically no-nonsense advice for marketing your game from Garry’s Mod/Rust creator Garry Newman.
  • You don’t have to be a faceless, heartless corporation. You can communicate like a human. You can hate things, you can love things, you can have opinions. Sometimes people will disagree with you, sometimes people will call you unprofessional. The people who love you will love you more for not treating them like aliens that you’re trying to scam business out of. They will respect you for treating them like humans.

  • Derrick Sanskrit on The AV Club about how games use hair to define characters is applicable to illustration generally, but includes plenty of fine examples and top pics of hairless Mario.
  • While those games used hair to help define their characters, others would use a variety of hairstyle options to help players express themselves through their avatars. The Sims, Saints Row, Wii Sports, and tons of RPGs allow players to spend hours customizing their characters’ appearances. Nintendo’s bucolic life simulator, Animal Crossing, took a different approach, though. The character’s look is based on a brief questionnaire at the start of the game. The reveal of your avatar when it arrived in town is often a surprise, but the hairstyle could be changed later on by visiting a salon and answering another questionnaire about how you wished to be perceived by your neighbors.

    The result is something akin to a Myers Briggs personality test, wherein introverted characters were more likely to rock ponytails, judging characters were prone to keeping their hair neatly combed, and intuitive characters sported asymmetrical parts. The most recent game in the series, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, includes 32 distinct styles, but locking them behind a personality quiz ensures that the hairdo you end up with represents your nature—or at least the one you want to present to the world.

  • David Mullich gave an interesting talk at this year’s GDC about ageism in the games industry. Kotaku Australia pick up the story.
  • David has found himself in similar situations. He’s 55 years old. Last year he celebrated his 35th year working in the games industry. His first project: a well-received adventure game based on the British television series The Prisoner. It was released in 1980. That is not a typo. David worked on Duck Tales. David worked on Dark Seed II. David worked on ‘I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream’.

    David can’t find a job.

  • The untold story of ILM has been told before, but it is a good story and you should read this exhaustive, 43-person interview on the subject.
  • A short piece on a New Yorker journalist who didn’t submit a piece of writing for thirty years. Something to aspire to.
  • Hey this GIF is nice. In fact, all of these are nice.
  • Music this week is Stan Getz and the Oscar Peterson trio. Music to lounge to.


    Top comments

    1. Grizzly says:

      Also of note: So long, Cara Ellison:
    1. Gap Gen says:

      It’s pretty incredible that even though today’s job market is ruthless by comparison with the pre-neoliberal years, someone could still hold down a job while producing nothing for 30 years. That said, I guess there are a bunch of people who pretend to do stuff successfully for years, or people who are too difficult to fire but too incompetent to be given anything important to do.

      • Goodtwist says:

        Ageism is a thing and I tell you that from my first hand experience. Already starting with 30 it’s getting increasingly difficult to finding a job. Beyond 35 you can usually forget it.

        • Gap Gen says:

          Ah, I was referring to the New Yorker journalist piece. But yeah, I’m sure there is a problem in the industry (and in industry in general).

        • Joshua Northey says:

          This is because if you are 30 or 35 and cannot find an job it is likely because you are comparatively not very employable. If you look at the figures the vast majority of people that age who want jobs have them. And among 55 year olds the people whining about ageism are almost universally people on the downward slope of their abilities and levqncebwhi are unwilling to accept this and take pay its and lower responsibility positions. Honestly, most people are peak value employees either right before they have kids or in their mid career. Older people generally have skills atrophy, don’t lean new things as quickly, are filled up with past work methods and experiences that are just as often a hindrance as a help.

          The economy as a whole still vastly overrates seniority and experience, and 55 year olds genrally make relatively more than they are worth not less.

          • drinniol says:

            Everything you said is flagrantly untrue.

            • pepperfez says:

              No, “This is because if you are 30 or 35 and cannot find an job it is likely because you are comparatively not very employable” is true, if only tautologically.

          • Goodtwist says:

            People who are looking for a job presently usually don’t have one. When I’m competing for selected vacancies it was always the younger ones, 7-10 years younger, who were given the job.

            Of course, I can’t exactly judge the qualifications of my competitors but I’d estimate that those qualifications are even. So, if that isn’t ageism – or discrimination on the grounds of a higher age – what is then?

    2. Zallgrin says:

      The No Man’s Sky write up about autogenerated audio is a fascinating read. I never exactly thought about what makes a voice sounds like a voice, and to put it in relation with hundreds of types of animal voices… it’s an intimidating task to code something like this.

      I am pretty sure that there will be some really weird voices as well as animals in No Man’s Sky. Can’t wait to discover them myself!

    3. Grizzly says:

      Also of note: So long, Cara Ellison:
      link to

      • James says:

        That was a sad piece to read, I rather liked her writing.

        • Gap Gen says:

          Yeah, there are a lot of people I’m sad have either left games journalism or scaled back. I guess because it pays comparatively poorly (and always did, I gather, even when magazines like PC Gamer sold better and the internet wasn’t ubiquitous) it’s not going to have an establishment guiding its future in the same way that news journalism might. And yet like Cara says, there’s something great in knowing that there are always more brilliant young people willing to put their thoughts into words and saying something new and fresh. Hell, I only really became aware of Cara’s writing a few years ago. The ideas of previous journalists still exist, but they can be reinterpreted or torn up by the new wave. Maybe there’s something that you don’t like, but there almost certainly will be something that you do, and in any case life is too short and the internet too big to read it all.

          • RARARA says:

            It’s funny how the Joseph Mitchell piece also tracks newspaper journalism entering an era of literary journalism. Quite the parallel with ‘New Wave’ games journalism today.

        • RARARA says:

          When Kieron left, he promised Quinns to be proto-Kieron. After Quinns left about a year later, we got Cara to fill the KG void.

          And now she’s gone too.

      • Orija says:

        Good riddance.

      • Cederic says:

        Must be my browser but I found that entirely unreadable – not the writing, the font/display.

        Very odd.

      • Det. Bullock says:

        Sad news, her writing was part of why I started following RPS.

      • tnzk says:

        She’s a bright light in journalism, that Cara.

        For some reason she blocked me from Twitter, and I never understood why, because I never really engaged with her. Nevertheless, I continued to read her stuff because she had some good ideas, even if those S.EXE articles got a bit too much at times.

        I do like the fact that she decided to quit while she was ahead. I wish her the best in future endeavours, and hope she will put her skills to even greater use in the future.

        • Zallgrin says:

          Hey, welcome to the club! I got blocked by Cara as well and I can’t fathom why. Maybe she blocks everyone she is not familiar with? To keep her twitter private? Idk

          Either way, I am a big big fan of Cara’s writing. While it is sad that she decided to drop out from gaming journalism, it’s not like she disappeared from Earth. We will see more of her writing and creations in the future and that is a great thing to look forward to.

      • shoptroll says:

        “What being in this ‘New Wave’ has meant to me is that I understand that games not only owe something to our wider culture, but that culture owes something to games, and when we try to close ourselves off and say ‘there is no politics here’ or ‘there is no hurt here’ or ‘this joy is unique to the playing of video games’ we are doing ourselves a disservice. Reading other people’s opinions have opened my mind to the fact that just like everything else we encounter in the human experience, games are a reflection of us. They come from us, of course they can say what is on our mind.”

        Well said Cara. I hope she’ll still drop by the site from time to time. Her articles were some of the funnest writing here.

      • Frank says:

        Ouch. She lumps RPS in with a Gawker media outlet as the “mainstream” games press…and then quotes someone who says the mainstream press is stifling.

        Anywho, good luck Cara!

        • pepperfez says:

          For all the shit it gets, Kotaku publishes some really excellent writing. This conversation about blackness in video games, for instance, stands out to me. It’s still mostly focused on consumer information (upcoming releases, “Should I buy that?” reviews, graphics testing, etc.), though, so interesting stuff is always going to be the exception.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            It focuses on that because that is what the audience wants, and this website focuses on the very same thing.

            • pepperfez says:

              Right, and that’s exactly why mainstream games writing is stifling. The audience doesn’t, by and large, want writers, it wants hypemen.

            • hprice says:

              I think British games journalism is very cliquey. Almost incestuous or nepotistic in some ways. I am forever seeing people (who used to be, say PC Gamer editors) referencing not very interesting articles by people who just happen to work for PC Gamer magazine still … or people who used to work for PC Gamer magazine popping up on RPS just because they can put one word in front of the other, in a relatively cogent fashion. I know some journalists are freelance but the same names keep appearing. And for most of the time the writers aren’t that great to tell you the truth. I’ve seen very little good writing in games journalism, and I’ve been reading this stuff for years. But that’s just my (humble :P) opinion, of course.

              As for Cara Ellison leaving our shores for other more lucrative ventures, I couldn’t care less. I thought her writing was 6th form stuff: very little substance, and rather juvenile. Maybe now she has gone, the sex quota will lower a bit around here. Oh no … I just saw someone referencing an article about a rabbi pushing sex toys on this very website (nothing at all weird about that, of course, he just wants people to have really great sex, apparently because sex is that important to all of us gentiles, and non-gentiles. No. Sex is not that important actually. Only people with an extremely juvenile mindset would think it is).

              … And so the middle class, pseuds will continue to blather on endlessly about nothing that important, and not venture into real journalistic territory like real sexism in games, and the heavy quota of ultraviolence in games such as Hotline Miami et al. Something that really hasn’t been addressed fully yet. I mean … I saw a tag for “ultraviolence” on an article here on RPS(!) as if it were a good thing. Ultraviolence, people is not a good thing. Stanley Kubrick withdrew his own bloody film, A Clockwork Orange because it was too violent. That’s where the word pretty much popped up from. Games do not need to be that violent, and developers should not keep pandering to the 12 year old psychotic in all of us. It’s all very disheartening, and possibly dangerous in the (very) long term no matter what all the studies do or do not say. There will be some effect on society no matter what if we keep putting these kinds of games out there for young people to indulge in. The world is already an extremely violent place, and we should be trying to think a bit more and ameliorate things in culture by minimising the amount of violence in games, films and tv. This can only be a good thing.

              We are living in a time of great mediocrity, and entitlement now. People indulge in things because they can, and they think they have every right to do so. Cara Ellison’s sex.e series was a symptom of this. Hedonistic nonsense being portrayed as important, boundary breaking journalism. Unfortunately, it was nothing of the kind. It was just the not-very-good jottings of a young woman with too much time on her hands, and with very few real things to say about life, and the world around us: ie mostly the sex thing, really … which is, of course, of great import. Umm no not really, Ms Ellison. Children being sniped at by IDF soldiers in Gaza is important. Sex, and video game sex (mostly sexist Japanese nonsense it seems, is not).

              Anyhow rant over. It’s nice to let the world know what you really think sometimes :P …

            • TillEulenspiegel says:

              No. Sex is not that important actually. Only people with an extremely juvenile mindset would think it is

              Thank you. I think I made a similar comment on one of the S.EXE articles many months ago. I enjoy sex, sex is great. But it’s such an incredibly dull subject to read or talk about, unless you have something really special to say. And nobody does. An obsession with sex as a topic is juvenile and boring.

            • tnzk says:


              I admire your observation, actually. We are living in a narcissistic, hedonistic culture, and it’s highly likely that what we produce and what we are compelled to consume falls into the narcissistic, hedonistic columns.

              Therefore your beef might be with the culture, not just games journalism in particular. I’ve always felt games journalism was the most liberal progressive of media journalism, and not in a good sense. I mean it’s easily swayed by and not particularly nuanced in responding to changes in culture e.g, the current wave of LGBT discourse in culture means the most “important” articles are about liberal ideas of sex. Video game development isn’t entirely dissimilar too: As brilliant a title as Gone Home is, it wouldn’t have existed if the current climate wasn’t fixated on sexual identity.

              Reminds me of what the old philosophers like Thomas Aquinas said: there’s two types of knowledge, speculative and practical, and the former is superior. You first need to figure out truth and the ends of truth (speculative knowledge), before putting it in action (practical knowledge). Or, to paraphrase Dr. Ian Malcolm, the media have been so preoccupied with whether they could write about certain things, that they didn’t stop to think whether they should write about certain things.

            • RobF says:

              Ahahaha. You guys.

            • DXN says:

              This whole viewpoint is quite strange to me. It’s hardly like sex-related stuff was ever more than a small part of the writing on this site (or Kotaku, etc), so it seems strange to come at it as if it was some kind of tidal wave and position yourselves aloof to it. You’re right that there’s been a big uptick in (or rather mainstreaming of) sexual-identity/politics related discourse in recent years — a great thing IMHO and an avenue for better acceptance and equality, which is cool! — and S.EXE type stuff, Gone Home etc are partly a response to, and partly a component of that. I always really enjoyed Cara’s exploration of the subject and it’s a shame to see her moving on from this particular wheelhouse, although I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for what she does next.

            • DXN says:

              In sum, I hope someone new will come along to douse us in hedonism. :D

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              kfix says:

              I know I’m very late to this thread, but when someone uses the word “pseud” seriously….

              hprice, only a pseud (or, possibly, an unreflective idiot) of the highest order could unironically declare:

              Sex is not that important actually. Only people with an extremely juvenile mindset would think it is.

              Sex is one of the most basic human drives, one that has motivated much of human behaviour over history. Unsurprisingly, since the drive to reproduce is a rather basic requirement of evolutionary success.

              However I’m not surprised that empirical concerns are not primary in what passes for your thought process, when you can also declare:

              It’s all very disheartening, and possibly dangerous in the (very) long term no matter what all the studies do or do not say.

              or (again, apparently unironically) assert that issues

              like real sexism in games, and the heavy quota of ultraviolence in games such as Hotline Miami

              don’t get discussed around here. You then reach peak buffoon by asking how can we possibly be writing and reading about games when

              Children being sniped at by IDF soldiers in Gaza


              You then get some moral support from fellow fogeys TillEulenspiegel (who at least apparently acknowledges that sex may be enjoyable if not important) and tnzk whose appreciation of philosophy at first glance seems to have stalled in the thirteenth century and to have missed the Enlightenment, but who then immediately confuses the issue with a reference to a fictional character whose confused approach to philosophy via the much-abused “chaos theory” invented by Hollywood is almost entirely antithetical to a conception that all things have a final cause or purpose.

              But you know, gotta tell those liberal progressivepseuds to get off your lawn.

      • KenTWOu says:

        I don’t want New Wave journalism. I want this kind of journalism.

          • Geebs says:

            Let me tell you a little about how that piece made me feel.


            It annoys the shit out of me when a “critic” tries to justify their complete lack of understanding of a form as some sort of personal piece or gonzo journalism. Personally I blame all those idiots who didn’t realise that the decent punk bands could actually play

    4. Ostymandias says:

      Here is an article on Jacobin about modders and unpaid labour, which I think provided an interesting perspective on some aspects of the video games industry:
      link to

      • pepperfez says:

        It’s weird that the article didn’t mention the use of IP law as a weapon against modders working outside the approved corporate systems. I’d have thought that was one of the most salient features of the mod marketplace compared to, for instance, indie games.

      • BlueTemplar says:

        It’s a weird article. It does have some very insightful points like :
        “If there’s an argument that the mods of indie games with low sales should stay free, there’s a much stronger one that the mods of games with budgets in the tens of millions should carry a price tag.”

        But then it seems a bit clueless when it says :
        “An even better fix — both for modders and the industry as a whole — would be a modding site containing content from several games across many genres, owned and operated by the modders themselves.”
        Erm, he means like which predates Steam’s Workshop by a long while? Or even just Nexusmods for Elder Scrolls games?
        One of the reasons for introducing paid mods is that Valve has not yet really cornered the “modding market”, and would very much like to. (Steam Workshop, unlike many other Steam community features is a “closed garden” to people not owning these games on Steam)

        Then, there’s some irony in a magazine named “Jacobin” taking position against a large, centralized platform like Steam…

        • CramBlamkin says:

          Modders do not share ownership of the Nexus or moddb. They are owned entirely by a corporation, who is exploiting the free labor of modders to attract visitors to the website it owns in order to profit off of advertising. If you make a mod, you will see none of that money- you own nothing but your own work, which you almost certainly are not charging for.

    5. ribby says:

      From what I’ve heard, RUST really made some big changes and upped their game since I last saw it

    6. Andy_Panthro says:

      Rain in GTAV is nice, but I never feel like it really has any effect on gameplay. I suspect if you made driving much more dangerous when it’s raining heavily, it might cause some issues. Alternatively, you have rain in Minecraft where is it nothing more than a noisy annoyance which adds nothing to gameplay or mood.

      • phelix says:

        I might be imagining it, but from my observations rain in GTA V seems to make vehicle handling slightly slippery and aircraft more wobbly.

      • Baines says:

        I wonder how difficult it is to model rain effects to an acceptable degree. I can see various issues with the attempt.

        Vehicle physics in many games is already “faked”. Cars are made more stable and control better than in reality. Some of it is to allow more action. Some of it is because car physics are one of those areas reality only looks realistic because we know it is reality. (Maybe part of that is due to action movies and the like, and part may just be human fantasy, but people expect cars to control and perform better than they really do. And some is the absence of the other sensory feedbacks, where you don’t feel the car shaking or the steering wheel fighting or the like, so you unconsciously assume the car should be more stable than reality would otherwise say.)

        When you have a system where cars by default perform better than reality, then how do you model the negative impact of rain and water? If it is subtle, people might not even notice. If it isn’t subtle, people might decide it is too exaggerated.

        The other big issue is what effects would you model. Rain honestly is kind of subtle. A pounding rain is a definite debilitation, but it is the wind that is shoving your car around and the sound of rain beating on your car and that you can only see for about a second after each wiper sweep and can barely see the taillights of the car two car lengths in front of you that are affecting you the most. You can hydroplane on only a little water, but hydroplaning both depends on the vehicle’s actions as well as variations in the road, and the latter might not be modeled well enough to either prevent too much hydroplaning or prevent too little. Hitting a water-filled pothole or dip is a definite issue, but how many games model roads with the potholes or dips in the first place, much less account for rain filling (and thus hiding) those holes. While it has a lower accident potential, similar modeling issues exist for the outer edge of the road being underwater while the middle of the road isn’t.

        • Geebs says:

          Handling is mostly adjusted to take account of the fact that you can’t feel the forces in a video game, which makes working out when the tires are going to skid that much harder (I have also never driven a car that was quite as hard to handle as those in the more simmy driving games).

          If anything, the physics should be easier to model than the actual graphics, which are always necessarily a massive fake.

      • LTK says:

        Aside from reducing visibility, which can be important during the night, while it’s raining in Minecraft you have a better chance of catching fish.

        I’m also baffled you’d say that the rain adds nothing to the mood because to me there are very few things more evocative of safety and comfort than the sound of raindrops beating down on the roof while you’re warm and dry inside. It’s one of Minecraft’s great pleasures.

    7. Kollega says:

      On the topic of rainstorms in gaming… it was cloudy and rainy in my city for about the entirety of this month, and that really gave me the opportunity for some ruminations on the current state of video game graphics. No matter how many games I played, there were very few where I saw real complexity in cloud and rain effects, the kind that would even approach the complexity of real-world clouds and rain. Hell, I would call the most cloud skyboxes in AAA games mediocre-to-shitty, when it comes down to it. And even in games with impeccable style and good graphics, such as TF2 circa 2009, the cloud effects are notably static. About the only game that I remember doing cloudy, rainy weather that looks realistic, with moving clouds, wind, and real-looking rain, is the 2D indie puzzler about liquids, Vessel (in its orchard levels). Which is none too surprising, considering that fluid physics and attendant environments were the selling point of that game.

      FULL DISCLOSURE: I haven’t really played any recent triple-A games (i.e. the ones that use the power of the new consoles), so it’s likely that I may have missed the more recent developments in that sphere. But I watch a lot of game trailers, and nothing I saw of those recent games was screaming “quality weather effects” to me.

      • Grizzly says:

        Project Cars?

        • Kollega says:

          Yeah, Project Cars is about the only recent game where I can say the rain effects aren’t mediocre. That wasn’t particularly evident in promotional trailers, but in gameplay footage it does look like really good weather effects.

          Of course, racing sims (or even arcadey racing games on closed tracks) are not exactly my genre, and I don’t have a steering wheel plus a VR or head-tracking setup to actually play one like it was intended to, so I’m afraid that game will pass me by =/ What I really hope for are decent weather effects in Just Cause 3, given its new-gen capabilities, “spectacular scenery” being one of its selling points, and the fact that I’m totally definitely absolutely buying it.

      • Scott says:

        For me, the defining weather effects in any game would be from WoW. Some of my vivid gaming memories are based in the hazy, rainy environments of Azeroth. When it rained there, it rained for hours and it actually felt like a ‘rainy day’.

        For example:

        link to

        The cool thing was that it didn’t just look like a cute graphic effect over your screen; it seemed to exist in the 3D space.

    8. melnificent says:

      Rumour has it that Joseph Mitchell set the template for RPS diaries. Start strong and gradually take longer until…

    9. Cederic says:

      That analysis of side-scrolling cameras was excellent.

      Lots of game design going on that I don’t consciously notice. Very nice.

    10. Chimpster says:

      Hey Graham, just to let you know that there are some Netrunner players in Bath, but they are a touch elusive. The best place to catch them would probably be on the Bristol Netrunner remote forum over at (link to or on the Bristol Netrunner Facebook group (link to

      Hopefully that helps!

    11. shoptroll says:

      David Mullich was also the producer on Heroes of Might & Magic III, its expansions (where the team created a hero in his honor), and Heroes IV. I’m really surprised they left out Heroes III from that list of accolades in that Kotaku article given how popular that game was.

    12. Premium User Badge

      Philippa Warr says:

      Graham, I bloody play Netrunner AND I bring my decks to Bath!

    13. Philopoemen says:

      I want to love Netrunner, but alas it’s style of play is not conducive to the lifestyle of a shift worker.

    14. psepho says:

      No one has yet mentioned Joseph Mitchell’s video game connection — he features as a recurring character in the Blackwell games, which present an interesting hypothesis about why he stops writing…

    15. Runty McTall says:

      Man, those gifs…

      Thanks for the superb links as always Graham and many congratulations on your fantastic work on RPS since you joined.


      • Premium User Badge

        particlese says:

        Yeah, good links in general, as usual, but those are some superb gifs.

        • Premium User Badge

          particlese says:

          Oops, just realized you used “superb” to describe the links. No wonder it came out my mind to use…lousy jet lag…

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            particlese says:

            “out” –>”to” Apologies for the terrible English…now, where’d I put that edit button?

          • Runty McTall says:

            Technically I used “superb” about the links in general, so you’re good :)

            Those gifs really are incredible though – stay with you.

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        Graham Smith says:

        You are all very kind. RPS has lovely readers.

        • Runty McTall says:

          Or readers with low standards :D

          No, you guys are great and deserve the praise for what you do here at RPS.

          BTW, I still keep thinking about that gif you singled out – so evocative.

        • caff says:

          Love your Sunday Papers columns. Give me a man hug.

    16. Joshua Northey says:

      The first shogun total war game had tremendous rain. Was such a lovely game for its time.

    17. Wulfram says:

      Maybe I’m a philistine, but I like sunshine in my computer games. If I wanted to look at stuff getting rained on, I’ve got a window.

      • porcelain_gods says:

        Yep sunshine rather than rain, I couldn’t understand how much it rained in Red Dead Redemption, even in Mexico, rain rain rain

    18. Freud says:

      Somewhat interesting article about two guys who got prosecuted for hacking and stealing/selling items in Diablo 3, back when items were tradeable. link to