Sundays are for baby baby baby bab-- No, let's not do that every week. Let's instead commit to doing things at the same time as baby, like a multi-tasking wunderparent. It's the only way to survive.
Let's start by rounding up the week's best videogame writing while baby is strapped to chest.
Let's also start by repeating ourselves. On Thursday I gave Wesley Yin-Poole's feature for Eurogamer about the life and times of Lionhead a post of its own, but now that it's Sunday you're more likely to have time to read its some 20,000 words.
“We had a meeting,” McCormack recalls. “We’d not seen him in weeks because he had other things on. He opened the door, walked in and goes, the hero has a dog, and it dies. And then he left and we didn’t see him again for another month. We were like, what the fuck? That was it. That was the direction.”
At my old haunt PC Gamer, Tyler Wilde writes a defence of Call of Duty. I think any number of us here could have written the same thing. Those games have lots that's good about them.
I’m more aware every year that Call of Duty is nearly the last of its kind. What other linear, rigorously performance-captured six hour campaign have you played recently? What other game still does multiplayer like CoD does multiplayer? It’s bizarre how it can be so successful, but has very quickly started to feel like a dying breed.
At the same site, Jody Macgregor talked to three designs about how to be a better roleplayer. I think about this a lot, because it's about getting the most out of the games you play - whether they're a roleplaying game or not.
It may seem ironic, but it’s often easiest to get into a role in a single-player game where you don’t have to take other players and their unpredictable actions and expectations into account. There, like the test subjects in that North Carolina University experiment, you’re free to create an identity of your own, whether by designing someone from scratch and spending hours contouring their face, or choosing whether to play as pragmatic Geralt, vicious Geralt, or rough-exterior/soft-interior Geralt.
Tony Coles appears at Eurogamer to write about Hitman and the joy of playing it wrong, which I think is really an article about the article of stupid AI and the cheap, funny tricks it allows you to perform.
You may well have seen a gif or two showing the possibilities of murder in Hitman's lavatories, but it's impossible to underestimate the defensibility of most toilets in the Hitman universe. The AI's inability to cope with the situation helps a lot, but really it's just about camping in a dead end so you only have a single doorway to worry about. It just so happens that video game toilets are really good at providing this kind of space, and Hitman's are second to none. The Paris level that forms the bed of this new episodic Hitman has occupiable wardrobes inside most toilets, which is some kind of stealth gaming nirvana for cheap players, allowing you to hide inside a hiding place inside your hiding place - Hitmanception.
Itch.io have been running a week of interviews with game developers who use the site. For example, here's Robert Yang, creator of Rinse & Repeat and Cobra Club and sometime RPS contributor.
After Starcraft, I got into making Counter-Strike maps for my friends. I still think that's one of the best ways to get into game development -- just make small things for yourself, for your friends and family. Friends won't hold back praise or criticism. Sometimes they'll make you change the game right on the spot. In general, I believe that most of game making is about reading people, to try to imagine the difference between what people think and what people say, and I think this "soft skill" gets neglected, in favor of "hard skills" like programming.
This response from Paradox to a negative review of Stellaris is refreshing.
This is a good explanation and response to Scarlett Johansson being cast as the lead character in the live action Ghost in the Shell movie.
And that's it for another week. Music is Esbjörn Svensson Trio's Seven Days of Falling, which I listened to in stolen moments while trying to sleep.