Sundays are for weeping uncontrollably, but consoling ourselves with the sweet succor of a week's worth of game writing.
- I left this link here for John last week, but I guess he abhors the arboreal. Simon Schreibt pits an Oblivion tree versus an Enemy Territory: Quake Wars palm. Which has the best level of detail blending? Which offers the greatest variety? Find out, then search the rest of the site for similarly excellent articles on game design and art.
- Philippa Warr talked to Charles Cecil in advance of last week's release of Broken Sword 5, covering Gnostic Gospels, conspiracies and religion. It's strong stuff. "As Cecil explains it, the game takes a dualist perspective, similar to that found frequently in Gnosticism. 'Our stance is that you have two powerful forces that are not gods. They exist but not as gods - the power of life and the power of knowledge with man in between. The 'between' is what gives man strength and free will - that's the core message through the whole thing and it pulls through the history of Montségur, it pulls on the strength of the Gnostic Gospels, it pulls on all those things.'"
- For more on the technical side of level of detail in trees, check out this detailed-at-any-distance post from the Wolfire blog. I love this stuff. "Now that we have our imposter surfaces to draw on, we need the imposter images themselves. To match the shading of the 3D object, we will need to draw them in the same way that the object is drawn, combining a color map, normal map, and shadow map. To match the orientation of the 3D object, we will also need several different angles of the object. For now, I chose to use eight different angles, inspired by the old 2.5d shooters like Marathon and Doom."
- Cassandra Khaw writes on the dangers of remaining silent in response to abuse in esports, as the scene continues to expand and mature. "The issue here isn't that inappropriate words were spoken. In an industry fueled by personality, it's not unusual to see someone capitalizing on their smarminess, on the expectation that they will indeed ululate something elegantly crass. Edgy invites attention, after all. The dilemma here is that so few influential voices were raised in protest. No media outlet crowded 2GD for apologies. No official statements were made."
- Polygon's Tracey Lien writes in No Girls Allowed about the persistent stereotype that videogames are for boys, as it exists from marketing to the playground. "When Romero's daughter Maezza was 8, she returned home from school with a story for her mother. Maezza had told her classmates that when she grows up, she wants to be a game designer. She was a level 90 in World of Warcraft. She loved wearing her Blizzard T-shirt to school. She wanted to learn how to code and make games. A kid in her class turned around. "Girls don't play games," he said. "Fortunately, my daughter had a great response," Romero says. "She said to the boy, 'My mommy makes games.' She owned him entirely.""
- Finally round off this week's tree-themed links, Nathan brings this Tumblr celebrating Videogame Foliage. Also from my GIF folder, a good tree.
Music this week is DJ Earworm's United States of Pop 2013, a mashup of this year's 25 best selling singles in the US.