Sundays are for a breath of fresh air. They are also for sitting in a cold room somewhere in The West and meticulously combing through the internet for clues. Let's see whether we can find any.
- BitGamer's Craig Lager has taken some time to investigate microtransactions. This is definitely an important topic: "There's little point in diving into Korean MMORPGs that explicitly follow the 'pay to win' business model, as those games will be deliberately imbalanced to favour regularly paying customers. Western developers, however, claim to avoid falling into this 'pay to win' genre; which begs the question of whether they're telling the truth or just selling empty promises. Thus, these are the games we're going to analyse - flip the page to see the seven games we've chosen to look at."
- Tracey Lien on What Happens To Developers When A Studio Closes. This is focusing specifically on the increasingly difficult situation in Australian development: "Ideally there would be a healthy mix of large studios with independent development teams, but given the current situation in Australia, with another EA studio closing just last week, what is a developer to do after a studio closure? Is it a cue to leave the country for greener pastures? Do developers who have spent their entire careers making titles for current-gen consoles suddenly make the switch to mobile games? Or is it time to throw in the towel and opt for a career change?"
- Gamasutra have had a go at "Charting Eve Online's Evolution" and in doing so spoke to Eve lead Torfi Frans Olafsson. The interview contains quite a bit about DUST514. Olafsson said: "15 years ago, people wouldn't have told you that somebody would care about as much about EVE as they do about an MMO. Or 20 years ago, before MMOs existed. We think the shooter market is ready for this. People want to do this. They have been assembling in clans, and they've been fighting, but never for a proper purpose -- always for a position on a leaderboard, or some random achievement. But conquering the universe with tens of thousands of other people? That's just mind-numbingly cool, I think." If you own a PS3, anyway...
- Lewis Denby takes the stage over at Eurogamer to offer up a retrospective on Rollercoaster Tycoon: "The first time you build a horrifically unsafe ride, it's probably been by accident. You were too eager to open it to the public, perhaps, so you didn't bother sending a train round in test mode first. You didn't realise that you'd forgotten to join those two sections of track, or that it was possible for a train to get stuck on a hill, roll back down the way it came, and smash into the front of the one hurtling down the last drop. And you look on in horror as those screams of ecstasy become ones of mortal terror, before falling silent, a mass of smoke and flames billowing in the place where 32 happy lives used to be."
- The Brisbane Times has some interesting comment on Australia's wobbly ratings policies, and the messages that games contain: "In the wise words of John Mellencamp, or maybe it was Malcolm X, “If you don’t stand for something you’re gonna fall for anything.” That’s one of the messages Fallout 3 teaches, and it’s one worth learning before you hit 18. It also teaches you not to drink irradiated toilet water unless you absolutely have to, which is important in its own way."
- Bohemia are blogging a lot at the moment, producing developer-authored articles such as this one about Take On Helicopter's and animation.
- Gamespy asks whether Diablo III should have been an FPS. Ha.
- "Games aren't clocks."
- Gamefront argues that consoles "became shitty PCs": "Last night, I quit playing Resistance 3 so I could download a firmware update so I could open the PlayStation Store so I could redeem an online pass so I could play Resistance 3." I can't help agreeing on that count.
- VG247 go hands-on with Mass Effect 3.
- Pixel Prospector made a big list of videogame documentaries.
- DIROLab is throwing up a lot of good stuff in their research into "digital romance".
- "Clocks for robots".
- BLDGBLOG. Interested in anything at all? Then you should be reading that.
- See if you can figure out who suggested I post this article on female sexuality in comics. To be fair, it's pretty relevant across a lot of contemporary pulp media.
- Sit Down & Shut Up.
- This orbital Earth flyover is video of the week. Possibly the year.
Got a suggestion for a link? You can email me or tweet it my way.