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The Sunday Papers

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Sundays are for sleeping. One of the days has to be for sleeping, right? Eventually there will be sleep and Sunday seems good.

I gave this its own post earlier in the week, but let's start with Vice's write-up of Tibia's locked door, which requires you to be level 999 to enter and only one player has ever passed through.

In the online MMO Tibia, there's a door with a simple message: "You see a gate of expertise for level 999. Only the worthy may pass." This week, a player named Kharsek passed through that door. It took him nine years to build up enough experience to hit level 999. But once he passed through the door, Kharsek disappeared, and took the secrets with him.

Everyone has been talking about No Man's Sky this past week. In light of its day one patch, Rami Ismail of Vlambeer wrote about the process of passing console certification.

Did I mention all of this is poorly documented? One console has a field that says ‘assets file’. It doesn’t mention what the assets file is, nor what it does, or what these assets are. If you don’t add the file, it can’t process your submission. If you add it, but it isn’t ‘right’, your build can fail. You lose a week. If there’s a checkbox somewhere in the hundreds or thousands of obscure rules that you missed, you lose a week. If there’s something that’s subtly different between Europe and America, you lose a week. What I’m trying to say is that certification could take a week, and in the worst cases, it could take months. From personal experiences, I can say that it can make developers cry. It could delay your game. At the end, though, the game that launches checks every checkbox. You’ve got your proverbial “Seal of Quality”. Your game is allowed to launch.

This is a couple of weeks old, but I kept seeing it linked in new places till I finally read it. Simon Parkin popped up on Gamasutra to write about the desks of 22 different game developers. Nice desks within.

"I have a stash of paper prototyping gear, and a rat's nest of phones and charging cables and a plant that smells of cookies. Also important to me is being in downtown Manhattan. I hate making games away from people. Years of working in real-world, live-action games means I'm used to my audience being in the room with me, all the time, which isn't often the case in digital game production. I find it incredibly important to step outside the office and immediately be surrounded by people who are playing our games, or games like our games, or games that are interestingly different from our games. And I love that I'm so close to art galleries and fashion studios and secret gardens and grimy dive bars. My new project is intensely inspired by the world around me - I'd struggle to find those touchpoints in a bland business park."

Rich Stanton wrote about the Rocket League world cup for Vice, with some bold opinions.

This was the beginning of a streak that would take iBP to the final, but simply listing results would be dry. The privilege of the RLCS was seeing Rocket League played with superhuman skill at a relentless pace, the kind of knife-edge competition where the tiniest mistake loses everything. At this level it becomes a different game, almost like ping pong, because both teams are so skilled at striking the ball in the air. There were languorous stretches where the ball was batted back-and-forth by mid-air combatants, hornet-like aerial duels, and sensational hits from space.

Keza MacDonald writes at Kotaku about Abzu and how it made her feel more connected to nature.

Video games, like most of the technology we use in our everyday lives, often distance us from the natural world. If there are animals in games, we are usually supposed to hunt and kill them (Tomb Raider, Far Cry) or ride around on them. Rarely are we supposed to just watch them, be with them, marvel at them. Abzu, by contrast – a game about ocean exploration that I played and finished in one four-hour stretch on Friday – is a game about being in nature.

I am not familiar with the works of YouTuber SteveOHobo, but I also wasn't familiar with Super Mario Strikers and so I enjoyed learning about it.

Music this week is Ryo Fukui's 1976 album Scenery.

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Graham Smith avatar

Graham Smith

Deputy Editorial Director

Rock Paper Shotgun's former editor-in-chief and current corporate dad. Also, he continues to write evening news posts for some reason.