Category: The Bucket

Stuff that is so damned special that it doesn’t really fit anywhere else. IT IS SPESHUL OK

May 5, 2015

Character Assassination

Though they foreground models over characters, systems-oriented video games can’t evade the issues of identity politics

The pedagogy of simulation games — city simulators in particular — is worth meditating on. They are, ostensibly, about engaging with complex (though still incredibly simplified) models, coupled with rule sets that mark discrete goals. These range from the practicable (make sure there are water lines in your new residential zone so the houses can have plumbing) to the whimsical (call down an alien invasion). By being told to use a set of tools in a particular way, an individual can be taught how to engage with a system — the system that is the game.

January 6, 2015

Roll20

Roll20 is a new, Kickstarted, freemium virtual gaming tabletop for organizing and playing D&D online (any edition), Pathfinder, Shadowrun, Savage Worlds, FATE, indie RPGs, and other tabletop games that 'brings pen and paper gaming to the web the right way'. HTML5-based and runs in-browser, so no downloads or plugins or other cruft.

June 14, 2014

Who can disrupt the console market?

In 1985 Nintendo introduced the Famicom to North America as the Nintendo Entertainment System for a mere $199, a remarkably low price considering the average PC cost around $2,400… Over the last two generations of consoles, however, prices have actually risen, and today a Playstation 4 or Xbox One is nearly the same price as an average PC.
Ben Thompson examines game consoles' increasing focus on high-end consumers, and what a low-end disruption might look like.

May 2, 2014

Hey Game Developer

Game Programming Patterns

Hey, Game Developer! Do you struggle to make your code hang together into a cohesive whole? Find it harder to make changes as your codebase grows? Feel like your game is a giant hairball where everything is intertwined with everything else? Wonder if and how design patterns apply to games? Hear things like “cache coherency” and “object pools”, but don’t know how to use them to make your game faster?

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