The Sunday Papers
Sundays are for packing all your worldly belongings into cardboard boxes, because it's almost moving time. Look at all those DVDs you haven't watched since the last time you moved.
- Eurogamer announced that they'd run out of numbers, preferring instead to measure the future quality of games solely via thousands of words of carefully written prose. Except also sometimes with three short conclusive labels.
- Chum Chris Thursten wrote a diary last year about his experiences getting really good at swordfighting multiplayer game Blade Symphony. It's like Jedi Knight II's multiplayer as its own game and deserves more attention, so read this.
- Tiberian Origins is a nicely presented wander through the Command & Conquer series, soon due to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
- Hey so there was some articles about Godus this week. I'd recommend two from other sites, both on Eurogamer. First up, try The God who Peter Molyneux forgot, on Bryan Henderson's experiences as the God of Gods. Or not.
- And follow it up with Rich Stanton's requiem for a dreamer, which steps back and tries to resolve all the different aspects of the developer.
- This is from 2010, but relevant for obvious reasons. Brenda Romero on credibility vs. influence, and how people respond to new work from "legendary" creators.
- I continue to be fascinated by sales figures, for the insight they provide into the games that don't steal the headlines. Here's details on Ibb & Obb's Steam release.
- I wonder how much of the regular reading audience at the Guardian stumbles into the game stuff, and what they think when they do. I hope they read this, on when dynamic game systems surprise us.
- The Revolutionary Society Of Men That Women Find Unattractive.
- Hey it's Sid Meier and Jake Solomon talking about game design.
In place of scores, we'll have one-line summaries for every review, and a new recommendation system whereby some, but not all games will be considered Recommended, Essential or Avoid. As a result of these changes, we will no longer be listed on the review-aggregation site Metacritic.
It’s about the way duels express the personality of the duellist, and about the social structures that form when people have such a striking way of establishing primacy over one another. In Blade Symphony, you bow before you try to kill somebody. You accept advice from high-ranked people when it’s offered. You seek out opponents who can teach you something, and you aim for the top.
“While we were doing the military research for C&C we’d come across all these crazy ideas,” recalls Louis Castle to CVG. “The Philadelphia Experiment, […] time travel, teleportation, and so on.” Inspired by stories of bizarre science experiments during the Cold War era, the team became interested in exploring an ‘alternate history’ of World War II, pitting Soviet Russia against the Western allies. As the concept developed, the team quickly realised that such a scenario would be a perfect opportunity to explore the origins of the universe established in Command & Conquer.
"They were talking amongst themselves and didn't pay attention to me. For some reason they had their backs to me and my friend for the start of the evening. Then more people came and that's when we started having a conversation with someone. That was a bit strange. You're here because of me, and they weren't really paying attention. Maybe they were caught up in some interesting conversation.
Despite all of this, a tiny part of my brain still believes in Molyneux. And this is the whole point: were Molyneux a total fraud, no-one would be interested. He'd be a minor annoyance. But because of Bullfrog and Lionhead, and not forgetting the hard work and talents of many others, he has a record that includes several truly special games.
I wondered aloud if people still discussed the cred of the great American author John Steinbeck. His last published work is The Winter of Our Discontent. The title, perhaps, foreshadowed its reception. Some were kind to the work, but many critics and scholars were not fans. They criticized Steinbeck’s decision to speak for the characters rather than let them reveal their thoughts through action. The novel’s construction was sloppy, and its pacing was uncharacteristic of earlier Steinbeck novels. While Steinbeck noted that he was trying to tackle a specific challenge with the book (morals in American culture), he was condemned for exactly this experimentation. His effort, critics noted, was too overt and not well concealed under a typical and masterful layer of metaphor. The book wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but when compared to his previous glories (instead of others’ stock in trade), it didn’t compare well.
Simply put, being on sale brings in extra revenue.
We offered discounts during both Summer Sale and the Holiday Sales. We didn’t get featured, but still had an increase in revenue. And it did not seem to negatively influence our default sales.
It’s scary how revenue is so dependent on promotions. We could have easily not been offered a Daily Deal and have missed $30,000 net revenue. That’s almost 20% of our revenue so far. In two days.
There’s a reason this video has almost 750,000 views: watching an entirely emergent non-narrative fight breakout between computer controlled avatars is astonishing and compelling. It’s not just slapstick violence, it actually enhances our understanding of the environment. It tells us that the world of Los Santos is truly batshit crazy, that the player characters are effectively products of a broken society. Also, I mean, they run over the guy’s head in their fire truck. WTF, Rockstar?!
That'll have to do for today. Music this week is the new release from brasshouse band TOO MANY ZOOZ.