August 9, 2011
Jesse Schell gives his personal perspective on how games are discussed and used in our social context and how we could think about them them differently. Jesse Schell is a game designer and speaks regularly on game design. His book "The Art of Game Design" is a great reference and his talks are generally quite entertaining.
In this talk he presents an argument for and against the idea that video games lead to more violent behavior and while I don't always fully agree with exactly what he says, he usually succeeds in making me think about game design from a slightly different perspective.
August 7, 2011
From Aberrance to Aesthetics: "[It is thought that] video games have a 'true nature,' a molten core established by accident among ancient folk games. Any attempt to extract, modify, or dispose of this core becomes a deluded perversion. Instead, the reasoning goes, we should seek to revisit and amplify the 'natural' features of games."
July 28, 2011
Hot on the heels of a temporary drop to $199.99 at several major Canadian retailers (including Best Buy and Wal-Mart), and coinciding with the release of Nintendo's latest quarterly results, slashing their profit forecast for the year by a whopping 82%, Nintendo announced today that they're dropping the price of the 3DS effective August 12 to $169.99 USD. [more inside]
Dr. Ether (Ethercast) has made a series of videos highlighting the voice actors in TF2. Each video starts off with an example of the actor's TF2 character(s), then segues into other examples of the actor's work, e.g. YouTube, film, and other media. Pretty fascinating stuff.
The third iteration of the Humble Indie Bundle is live. The same great deal as the last two times: pay what you want for five games from indie developers (Crayon Physics Deluxe, Cogs, vvvvvv , Hammerfight, and And Yet It Moves). As usual, all proceeds are split between the game developers, EFF, and Child's Play.
Realm of the Mad God, eh? It's a free-to-play massively multiplayer online pixel-art 2D overhead-view RPG bullet hell browser shooter, if you can believe that shit. Superficially shallow, giddy fun with a microtransaction substrate for the hardcore fan but very playable indeed as a free game. [more inside]
July 16, 2011
Chain World -- Religion or Holy War? Jason Rohrer's "Chain World" was the overwhelming audience favorite at the 2011 Game Design Challenge. This year's challenge was Bigger Than Jesus: games as religion. Rohrer's winning creation is a mod of Minecraft that exists on a single USB drive and is to be played by one person at a time who then passes it on to the next player without speaking of the game. The idea is to explore how human actions in a game world accrete into something very like a mythology. At the game's debut, Rohrer handed over the USB, more or less at random, to Jia Ji. He would be Chain World Player Two. And that's where the trouble began.
July 12, 2011
The Rollicking Pulp Magazine Covers of Trenched "The loading screens for Double Fine's triple-fine Xbox Live Arcade mech game Trenched are spot-on parodies of early 20th-century pulp magazine covers. Unfortunately (or fortunately), they go by too quickly to be properly enjoyed. Double Fine kindly provided all but one cover [to Kotaku] —that one had a spoiler— so that you can chuckle at their overt manliness at your leisure."
July 11, 2011
Sleep No More is an “immersion theatre” event in which audiences are free to roam, explore, and investigate -- almost nothing is off-limits -- a vast space that includes 100 rooms spread over 6 floors of a transformed abandoned warehouse in Chelsea, NYC. It's a 'live theater and real-time non-linear multiplayer horror-adventure game.'
July 10, 2011
Valve honcho Gabe Newell's recent hour-long keynote speech at Games For Change. Smart fella, Gabe.
July 5, 2011
Learning from Fable III’s UX Mistakes "With so much UX work focused on websites, it can be easy to forget that the same rules we apply online are equally valid elsewhere. Videogames are a perfect case-in-point. Many of the highest profile titles, much like the highest profile websites, have issues that could be addressed by considering user experience. "