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The Sunday Papers

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A plain white mug of black tea or coffee, next to a broadsheet paper on a table, in black and white. It's the header for Sunday Papers!
Image credit: RPS

Sundays are for making a heroic dent in the bottle of Japanese whiskey I bought to celebrate the RPS job. Before I make the highballs I’ve been craving since playing LAD: Infinite Wealth, prior to answering the door in a snakeskin jacket and shouting KIRYU-CHAAAAAN! at the Greggs driver, prior to wondering if maybe I’m a little too impressionable, let’s read this weeks best writing about games (and game related things!)

Over at our sister site Dicebreaker, Alicia Haddick wrote about the recent Yu-Gi-Oh tournament exclusions. It’s a complex look at the organisational complexities of a complex game that I’ve never played, and I still found it an interesting bit of reporting.

“Card games like Yu-Gi-Oh! are all about community. They’re a way to meet new people, find things in common with strangers and feel less alone. Especially as an immigrant living in another country without the friendships built up over years, it’s a chance to make connections that would otherwise be impossible. Yet such rules exclude these players from that community purely due to their nationality. Why should they continue playing Yu-Gi-Oh! if they can’t participate in the same competitions as their peers?”

Over at Deep Hell, Skeleton wrote about hiking, through the lens of Dragon's Dogma 2. I found this one through the excellent Critical Distance, which I’m sure you all know.

“And then there’s Dragon’s Dogma, again: some of us might even say There’s Dragon’s Dogma 2, and there she goes: yes, there are the rolling hills and ancient forests and danger lurking in the shadows. Never do you take a step without a friend there walking with you, the ever chatty Pawn crafted in our own image. In Dragon’s Dogma, we are god and bring man into the forest with us, it is spiritual in a way fantasy trends towards, I cannot feel the breadth of the wind on my skin but the setting sun is so realistic, and likewise affordable: the initial investment of a console is far more accessible than the abrupt lifestyle changes required to be outdoorsy, where anything other than complete devotion to a Patagonia brand is seen as markings of a tourist, not someone who can respect nature.”

Last Dragon's Dogma piece from me, promise. I know that some people simply couldn’t play the thing to an enjoyable standard, which means Capcom took your money in exchange for a product that wasn’t fit for purpose, eating into your leisure time. I can only write from my own experience, of course, but I hear you.

I really enjoyed this Gamesradar piece from Ali Jones about how former WOW lead Greg Jones’ upcoming MMO, Ghost, showed far more transparency than is usual for a first development update. If this sort of unselfconscious look at development stops one person from writing “it’s just one line of code!” in the Steam comments, then its doing the lord’s work.

“I'm struck by the impression that this kind of transparency should be the norm, not the exception. Concept art is one thing, but this blog goes way deeper than that. We're talking an entire game made out of Unreal placeholders, in an industry where it's rare to see grey box work until after a game has been finished (remember how uncommon The Last of Us 2 Remastered's Lost Levels felt?). We're being shown a game that's still working out what its story and art style might begin to look like, when full-fledged cinematics exploring the deep lore of a world is a far more common way of revealing a game. Traditionally, you might learn about a finalized system or interesting mechanic, but this studio is explaining how it's building ideas as relatively simple as respawn, healing, and XP systems.”

Polygon interviewed the cast of 3 Body Problem about what it’s like to wear and film in the show’s impossibly futuristic VR headset. I haven’t finished 3BP yet, but I’ve been noticing and suspect there’s actually at least one person on the writing team who has played a videogame before, which is refreshing. It’s no Spaced, mind, but what is?

Kyle Bosman had some Good Takes on the Triple-i showcase.

Music this week is Pigeonometry by Aesop Rock. Not content with already writing the best verses about adopting a kitten ever penned, Aes is now responsible for the finest pigeon bars in the game. I incorrectly remembered first hearing Aes on Pro Skater 2, googled it, found out I was wrong, but then discovered he composed an entire OST for 2019 Schmup Freedom Finger! Thanks google (for this only), and thank you, readers. Have a great weekend!

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