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The Sunday Papers

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Sundays are for carving pumpkins for the first time in your life, and wondering what to do with all the insides once they're removed. Let's round up the week's best games writing while we dwell on that.

I enjoyed Gamasutra's Design Deep Dive from one of the creators of Reigns, a choice-based narrative game in which you make binary choices about your ruling of a kingdom by swiping left or right. How does the story adapt to your decisions?

That initial mechanic worked very well on an emotional and physical level. Like Tinder, it’s a toy (as a very smart person told me one day), but a toy with surprising depth. As soon as we weighted the decisions of the player with consequences on the 4 dimensions of power, we gave a lot of meaning to very simple swiping gestures.

That was fun for 10 minutes. And that, believe me, was a great start. We just needed to hook the players for the following 2 hours.

While you're at Gamasutra, you should also read this entry of the same series about turning Bloodline Champions into the ascendant Battlerite.

Bloodlines Champions was a passion project. A group of 14 students coming together to create the best possible arena game out there. Our ambitions were sky-high: a PvP Game with a dedicated server network and a focus on eSport long before the eSports scene exploded. With almost no budget, we started developing everything from our own graphics engine to our own network-solutions. Personal loans and people working with “real” jobs on the side funded the project.

At PC Gamer, Chris Livingston actually went and played Star Citizen, which seems like a novel idea. That link goes to part one, and part two is here.

I don't really want to be in bed, okay? I want to be in space doing space things. But in the interest of being a responsible citizen reporter, I just want to see if the glitch reoccurs. It doesn't, though I recommend staying in first-person mode while you're in your hab. I don't recommend trying to watch yourself get out of bed while in freelook, or you might wind up dizzy and staring up at your own groin.

As I write this, the site hasn't launched yet, but by the time you read this it will have. Vice Gaming is transmogrifying into Waypoint. Editor Austin Walker explains why they chose the name. It's a good team with good goals and I wish them well.

Neopets is a game in which you can look after virtual pets. It was extremely popular once upon a time, and Amanda Yeo for Kotaku AU revisited the game.

Finally giving in to the accusatory red text beneath my pet's portrait, I dragged my starved yet "delighted!" companions to the Neolodge and dumped them in Cockroach Towers for one night, where they gorged themselves, going from "dying" to "bloated" in the time it took for the next page to load. Bad Neopet Owner Tip: You can feed your pet for 5NP per night at Cockroach Towers. Roach infested food is still food. Worse Neopet Owner Tip: Starvation doesn't appear to have any impact upon a pet's happiness, and they can't die, so you don't really need to feed them at all. I nearly never bothered back when I was 10 - I'd rather sell my food and put my Neopoints toward my PetPet collection.

Sid Meier was a guest on Soren Johnson's Designer Notes this past week. I haven't listened to it yet, but I have finally got through the two-part episode with Amy Hennig, creator of the Uncharted series. It was great.

Music this week is the fuzzy, warm Dear Nora.

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