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The Sunday Papers

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Sundays are for rounding up links to the internet’s best games writing, in the traditional format because that’s what you asked for.

  • Comments were split in the feedback about whether links to the likes of The Guardian and Eurogamer were necessary, but enough people said they appreciated them that they shall remain. Here’s Simon Parkin at the former profiling Miles Jacobson, director of Football Manager.
  • Jacobson first came to Vicarage Road for his seventh birthday. “In Watford, at that time, you either supported Liverpool, as they were best team, or Tottenham or Arsenal, as they were relatively nearby,” he says. “I wanted to support my local team; it was the only way that I’d get to see matches.” Jacobson’s father, an unemployed inventor, had no interest in the sport, so his mother begrudgingly brought her son along for his first Tuesday night fixture. “She sat in the stand, read Woman’s Weekly and did the Evening Standard crossword,” Jacobson recalls.

  • And at the same site, here’s Holly Nielsen talking to historian Alana Harris about Assassin’s creed Syndicate, and where it succeeds and fails as a depiction of its time and place.
  • However, Harris argues that the game’s jarring mechanic of allowing players to “liberate” a select few children working in a factory is an example of us imposing our own anachronistic views of Victorian London onto the past. “Child labour was an ongoing concern for the Victorians, and there were concerted efforts to address it, particularly as we start to move into the 1870’s and 80’s with the Education Acts,” she says. “But, of course, the ongoing issue was the need for child labour to actually supplement the family income, so if we’re liberating these children, what are we liberating them to? And what does this actually mean for their families and the family structures that were dependent on their wage?

  • A bunch of people in the comments a fortnight ago mentioned that they had special fondness for articles written by developers. So here’s one from the creator of Gorogoa writing about creating a system for animating the drawing of images. Gorogoa’s demo/alpha from a couple of years ago was a delight, and you should be excited for the finished game.
  • I decided that during several scenes in Chapter 3, we should see the main character writing and drawing sketches in a notebook. I wanted us to see the drawing itself appear, more or less stroke by stroke. My hope was that this would help focus the player’s attention on key story moments, and allow the character to more vividly relate what’s going on in his head. Besides, the process of seeing a drawing come together is inherently compelling; it has a built-in suspense to it. It also reiterates the process by which the hand-drawn world around the character came into being.

  • At Gamasutra, Katherine Cross writes about how Fallout 4’s polyamory is just the beginning, and there’s much more for games to explore when it comes to non-monogamous relationships. I feel like, as Cross suggests, Bethesda’s support for these kinds of relationship comes from the noose of narrative being less tight in Bethesda games than BioWare’s. They support polyamory mostly only in so far as they don’t care to prevent it.
  • In its unpretentious way, Bethesda has set a new industry standard for dealing with one of the most unexplored dimensions of relationships in video games: polyamory. Simply put, Fallout 4’s romance options are not mutually exclusive. You can flirt with, sleep with, and develop relationships with multiple characters concurrently, with both companions and regular NPCs.

  • I am sad this article doesn’t live up to its title: a review of Bloodborne based on 200 hours of Twitch and YouTube videos.

    On my last day of watching, I saw the aggregate views my favorite streamer has accumulated to almost 6 million in a few short years. The archived videos he posts to YouTube every few days are seen by tens of thousands and the more popular ones have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. There are so many videos there it feels like it would take another lifetime to watch them all. I have seen so many different people do roughly the same thing, dashing around Father Gascoigne, chasing after Scurrying Beasts across rooftops, dying the same deaths after trying to get off a fourth swing when there was only time for three. Things never go exactly the same but they always lead back to the same places.

  • At Vice, Joe Donnelly, sometimes of this parish, went to a psychic and pretended to be Gordon Freeman.
  • MEDIUM: Yes, I can. I can tell that your work is very important to you and you place a high value on it, would you say that’s right?

    Yes, definitely.

    What line of work are you in?

    Science. I’m a theoretical physicist.

    Yes, well it’s clear to me that you’ve got plenty of opportunities at work. You might even be looking at a new job, or the chance to pursue a new one, in the not too distant future.

  • Someone linked this in the comments of a recent Have You Played. Walking The Walk is a video series in which the host wanders through an open world and talks about the art design of the world; not the shaders and framerates, but how well it builds its world through sound and texture and lighting and animation. I have watched some of this episode on Watch_Dogs and enjoyed it.

The most unanimous piece of feedback was that my music taste is better than everyone else’s music taste, but I’m nothing if not magnaminous, so here’s a suggestion emailed in from a reader: Tara King th. – The Hum and the Hiss. The drumming is great. I think they are named after a character from The Avengers. What’s not to like.

A new question for you: what gaming podcasts do you listen to? I’m looking for suggestions.

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Graham Smith

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Graham is to blame for all this.

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