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The Sunday Papers

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Sundays are for being too tired to do anything. Lie down, everyone.

At Eurogamer, Jake Tucker wrote about the “fall and plummet” of APB, Dave Jones GTA-but-an-MMO that was pack of social features and cool tech and felt awful to play. Although a worrying portion of the article quotes an anonymous (and unverifiable) comment on RPS, it’s still a good read if you’re unfamiliar with the game and its brief release.

“APB was one of the most ambitious games that I’ve worked on and I’d heard of anyone working on,” Hunt recalls. The reason he joined the team was because this was a developer set on doing things the right way. APB was going to be rigorously concepted, all the design work being carried out on paper before any coding would be done. The problem was, once APB left the drawing board, many of its big ideas just didn’t work. Key concepts fell totally flat, leading to a long process of redesigning and recoding.

I don’t know what William Pugh is talking about but I think something similar happened to me on a NEO Scavenger playthrough.

Everybody starts cheering again – from the other side of the arena emerges what at this point I just assumed to be a shirtless John Romero. I didn’t look that closely. Without even waiting for Alex Bruce (Antichamber 2013) to signal the beginning – they charged at each other. Violently grappling in the mud – two industry legends fighting to the death. The crowd was in a rapture of screaming, hugging and violent masturbation. Scott Benson from earlier was frantically taking bets whilst Spider Andrew Gleeson was devouring a baby whole. It was at this point that I started to feel like something might be wrong.

At the IB Times, I enjoyed Holly Nielsen’s tour of the history of Elder Scrolls and Fallout DLC. I remember horse armour.

As an eleven-year-old obsessed with Oblivion at the time, I remember being thrilled at the prospect of armouring up my favourite pony. I didn’t quite realise how weird the horse looked in glittering gold elven armour. It is of course, a complete joke. And rightly so. The DLC included only two different sets of armour for your horse, and remains a prime example of pointless cosmetic DLC.

Games And Food is a Tumblr about food in games. Mission accomplished.

James Chen at PvP Live wrote an article, citing anonymous sources, about how management and “a deep schism within the company itself” is causing problems at Riot and in League of Legends esports. Riot are a strange company to work with and it’s rare for anything like this to slip out, because they’re very good at controlling everything, so it’s interesting even without named sources.

According to sources, “politics at Riot became increasingly insane” since the start of the LCS. Three League Ops leaders have left in three years, despite the position nominally being one of the most prestigious on the scene. A rift exists between Rozelle and esports business development director Jarred Kennedy – one implicated as a critical reason as to why there’s been no leadership or guidance in the development of a sustainable ecosystem for the teams.

How We Get To Next has a good article on the history of space concept art, which right away reveals things I did not know.

In 1966 Norman Rockwell really needed a spacesuit — and NASA didn’t want to give him one. The space agency had hired the artist to visualize the Moon landing long before it would actually happen. To do that Rockwell needed to know what the astronauts would be wearing. He needed details. For him, telling the big story meant looking at the subtle facets that compose the whole. However, with the intense secrecy surrounding the mission, the answer to his request kept coming back the same. Denied.

I enjoyed Matt Lees’ take on No Man’s Sky.

I also enjoyed these tweets from Joe Wintergreen revealing some of the methods and programmer comments behind Half-Life 2’s AI.

Music this week is Takeshi Inomata and Sound Limited’s Sounds of Sound L.T.D.

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Graham Smith

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