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The Sunday Papers

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Sundays are for eating cheese and re-watching The X-Files and maybe making some games and doing all the relaxing things you had less time for during the week, including reading some fine writing about videogames.

  • I liked this article about the Euro Truck Simulator 2’s angry response to a mod that makes your truck drive very fast.
  • when are you gona learn that this is NOT A RACING GAME!!!you are making this game look stupid,keep it for yourself only.thats why you get comments like these because it is idiotic.Go Play Mine Craft.since you think like boy.LOL

  • Adam linked me to this article, in which a Football Manager expert defends their own appearance on the BBC each year during the January transfer period. Interesting insight about the way the game predicts and simulates player potential.
  • These players, while often loved by the Football Manager community, are ready fodder to the argument that Football Manager often gets it wrong. Jacobson defends the database’s predictive qualities against that charge, saying: “Even the best managers get it wrong sometimes – and our strike rate is way higher than most. Players like Cherno and Freddy Adu actually made us look at the entire way we judge potential, though.”

  • Steam user Cheeseness wrote this lovely guide to the fauna of Firewatch.
  • Near Two Forks fixed to a dead tree is a small birdhouse. I’ve kept an eye to it for the duration of my stay, but haven’t seen it used at all. I had planned to crush a granola bar and leave it in there, but I was unable to reach the opening.

    I have also heard woodpeckers, crows and other forest birds – even owls at night, but was never able to actually spot any.

  • Here’s a heck of a thing. At the BBC, author Naomi Alderman has created an interactive and audio history of interactive fiction. You’ve three months before to try it.
  • Speaking of interactive fiction, here’s Laura Hudson talking to Campo Santo’s Sean Vanaman about Firewatch’s roots in the text adventures of old.
  • “We needed to inject all this knowledge about Henry into every player in the first five to 10 minutes, so I made a [text] game where you played as him,” said Sean Vanaman, the writer of Firewatch. “Then I never had to tell you who he was, you could just feel who you wanted him to be. Making that discovery of how it worked, how it made me feel, how it made other people feel—it felt like I’d won the lottery. I felt really lucky that we had stumbled across it.”

  • I’m currently reading William Gibson’s Virtual Light, his 1993 novel set during 2005 and inspired by the particulars of the bike courier community of San Francisco. This story of a Deliveroo courier’s experience then seemed to take on extra relevance, even aside from the fact it’s the only way to get burritos for lunch when you work from home.
  • Often customers will beg you to go and pick up non-Deliveroo extras for them, offering to pay massive sums. I’ve had requests for everything from Greggs sausage rolls to weed. There are so many stoned customers with the munchies, you could earn a fortune running a sideline in delivering drugs and booze.

  • Zam continues to produce good work. For starters, Boen Wang argues that Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days’ intentional grubbiness is more relevant today than when the game was released. I like articles celebrating Kane & Lynch, even if I’ve never managed to get into the game. See also: Michael Gapper’s old related feature.
  • And most of all, the game itself looks and sounds ugly. The central conceit of the game’s aesthetic is that an invisible third party is filming Kane and Lynch on a crappy lo-res camera. Neon signs bleed colored streaks across the screen. Headlights create those horrible vertical lens flares you only see on cheap video. Pressing the sprint button causes the camera to lurch violently, as if the operator is struggling to keep up. When the player character is shot, the screen glitches out and becomes corrupted with pixelated artifacts. Large explosions will blow out the footage entirely, resulting in a wash of digital and aural noise.

  • I also enjoyed this article in which Jessica Stein, a teacher, uses an RPG “designed to reward discipline and participation in the classroom” in her class and reports back with the results.
  • On the flip side, I found that taking health points hindered classroom management, especially in kids with low self-esteem or anxiety issues. I asked Shawn whether he thought giving XP or taking HP motivated his students more and he agreed. “Definitely giving Experience Points (XP) and Gold Pieces (GP). For kids, that’s a very visible measure of their progress, both in the game and in class.” Losing health is arguably one of the defining characteristics of an RPG, and the ability to die gives the game greater stakes. However, I used it very rarely, and only with thick-skinned kids. While students taking dying on their X-Box or PC for granted, apparently dying in real life, in front of your peers, isn’t fair.

  • videoGaiden has returned. I guess BBC Scotland are uploading the episodes straight to YouTube? Wave hello to our Rab when he appears on your monitor during the boardgame section and he’ll wave back.

Music this week is Health’s Men Today, from their 2015 album and from that recent quite-guff Hitman trailer. Good noise.

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Graham Smith

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