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The Sunday Papers

Links from the ultraweb

Sundays are for urrrrgh. Or bleruuurgh. And some hnnngfh. And then back to bed.

  • An interview with Dan Pinchbeck, of The Chinese Room (writer and designer on A Machine For Pigs): "I think as a writer I'm interested in ambiguity and the slippage of meaning, in the nature of reality and our illusions about our sense of self and consciousness and being in the world, so I think that's something that is kind of hard wired into our games because of that. And Jess has similar preoccupations as a composer, she's obsessed with the notion of truth, or beauty, of what is means to be an emotional creature. So it's less a striving, more of an inevitability I guess."
  • On Euro Truck Simulator 2: "One day soon, my son is going to ask why we never park the truck in Euro Truck Simulator 2 (SCS Software, 2012) and I will explain, nay confess, that it is because it is bloody difficult. Having to get the truck into a precise position, like boarding a wagon for the Eurotunnel Freight Shuttle at Folkestone, freaks me out."
  • True PC Gaming on "honor codes" for gamers: "There are numerous examples of tactics that are almost universally frowned upon by gamers. For example, in multiplayer FPS, four of the fastest ways to lose respect are to, in no particular order, spawn camp, dolphin-dive (Battlefield games), bunny-hop, and circle-strafe – a special thank you to Counter-Strike for immortalizing the last two. These actions are especially reviled if the game in which they are used does not implement some sort of combat trade-off for using them (i.e. lower accuracy while hopping/circling or a firing delay while diving). Granted, the presence of such trade-offs usually relegates these tactics to ineffective panic-button reactions. There is some debate as to the merits of these tactics and others, as more than a few people claim it takes considerable skill to be effective with them. If you’d like to Hadouken those individuals, please take a number." Hmm. Well, personally I miss Quake III.
  • On the reporting of stories about videogame violence studies: "It’s well-known among psychologists that there’s a bias in favour of publishing articles that predict a difference and then find it, rather than those that either don’t discover what they set out to find or cast doubt on the veracity of earlier findings. There’s even a website called Psych FileDrawer that exists as a corrective to this by collecting the null results that do occasionally get published. For instance, a search through their archive shows a 2011 paper in the Australian Journal of Psychology in which attempts to repeat an earlier experiment suggesting players of action games had improved attentional capacity failed to repeat its findings."
  • US Gamer can't tell if Peter Molydeux's design school is a joke, but I sort of hope that it isn't.
  • Two Gone Home-inspired pieces on PCG, one with a bit of classic New Games Journalism from Philippa Warr, and another from Yang about "the mansion genre".
  • Mike Bithell on Blitz: "Blitz was also well known for its outreach to students and graduates generally. The open days were things of legend (that's how I came into the company, after a design manager who will remain nameless got me rather drunk on an embarrassingly small amount of cider). It is exciting that this attitude and approach lives on with Kim Blake's move to UKIE, but it's a shame to see a company who did so much for young developers leave the market. The remaining big studios have a big gap to fill."
  • Odd that I found a copy of Viewtiful Joe in the garage, and then Stanton should post a retrospective about it: "Viewtiful Joe takes place in movieland, after Joe's girlfriend Sylvia has been snatched from their local cinema by an on-screen monster - and Joe gets pulled in right after. The story's enjoyable hokum but the setting is far more; this is a game that is built mechanically and visually around its cinematic metaphor, a production about putting the player in charge of a production. This is why Kamiya is a special designer; Viewtiful Joe isn't a game about being stylish. The style is the game."
  • The horror.
  • Oh, Mr Cage. I can't even tell if you are serious anymore. If you are: No.
  • Jackie Chan is important.

Music this week is At First Touch by The Sight Below.

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