Latest Gamefilter Posts
For a brief period after the onset of the Syrian Civil War, journalist Mitch Swenson was there, hitching rides with Syrian rebels and rubbing elbows with smugglers. Then, he came home to the US to write a free-to-play adventure game about it. (via Kill Screen) [more inside]
May 22, 2014
This is a story about me and a video game. Although I have always been and expect I always will be a nerd, the events of this story take place when I was approximately 8-10 years old, meaning I had not yet worn away the extra layer of turbo-nerd that little boys of that inclination tend to have at that age. [more inside]
The Inside Story of Oculus Rift and How Virtual Reality Became Reality (including the generalized 'DO NOT WANT' reaction to the Facebook acquisition) at Wired.
May 21, 2014
The venerable Dead End Thrills now has some pieces up about the art and design of various games, and not only is the imagery as gorgeous as you'd expect, but the articles themselves are beautiful to look at and interesting as well. Fire And Ice: The Cold Heart Of EVE Online and Building The Impossible: The Art Of Mirror’s Edge are my favorites.
Deep in the Shadows: Thief Design Analysis is a long-form analysis of -- you guessed it -- the latest iteration of the Thief series of games. See also: A 2014 Manifesto: Does The Stealth Genre Even Exist? It's a wee bit odd to use a question as the title of a manifesto, but there you go.
Treachery in Beatdown City is a beat-em-up made by Shawn Allen, who grew up poor in New York City. TiBC reflects this background: "I wanted to make a game that was about corruption in the city, about the city itself and the plight of gentrification, with strong characters."
Patch 1.1 will include local multiplayer, goat parkour, and more. If you have been desperately awaiting patch 1.1 for Goat Simulator, you will need to wait a little longer. Originally promised for mid-May, the developers have had to take a few weeks more to get it finished and ready to ship. [more inside]
May 19, 2014
Nick Yee, a senior research scientist at Ubisoft, offers a not-entirely-convincing explanation for why men gender-swap more often than women in World of Warcraft. See also: I'm A Man Who Plays As A Woman In Games, And I'm Definitely Not Alone.
Code Hunt is 'an educational, browser-based coding game' from Microsoft where you can choose what language to work with from a choice of two, C# and Java, and slowly work through fixing and changing increasingly complex chunks of code. [more inside]
May 16, 2014
Article by Laura Hudson Discussions of online harassment of women are usually depressing; this article is an exception: it talks about actions that work, and in games, of all places. Hudson focuses mainly on League of Legends, which has implemented reviews and bans that not only lower harassment but seem to re-educate the offenders. (Interesting detail: Riot studied the problem first, and found that, contrary to what's often reported, only 13% of harassment was due to trolls, i.e. persistently nasty people. The rest was occasional outbreaks from otherwise positive people.)
The most common given names people chose for Commander Shepard in the Mass Effect series were pretty spectacularly boring. I named mine Leppard Shepard, which may explain why I never even finished the first game: I need to take my universe-saving a little more seriously (which is pretty much what my highschool teachers always told me back in the day, come to think of it). Were you one of the Jacks, Jameses or Jessicas?
Telltale's Walking Dead "wears its zombie horror aspects on its tattered sleeve, but [...] also warrants consideration as a piece of Southern fiction — albeit an unconventional one".
I had no idea that this was a thing that was happening, but apparently it is, and now I know. (The growth of mercenaries and for-profit private military contractors isn't news to me; game companies producing journalvertising about it is). Activision has apparently produced a 'documentary' short film called "Superpower for Hire" in association with Vice and the advertising agency 72andSunny in order to promote their latest warpornmanshoot Call of Duty opus. Robert Rath at Escapist has a fair bit to say not only on the fact that it exists, but how fast and loose it plays with the product-pumping information it presents as factual.
May 13, 2014
Games evangelists and naysayers On whether the games evangelism industry asserts that it is more important for games to be seen as good than to critically ask what might be good about them, and whether something that isn’t games might be a better way to address a problem.
"Sure, adding online multiplayer to your game is massively time-consuming, very costly, and not exactly the greatest fun you'll ever have -- but it can potentially bring in multitudes of extra players and sales, so it's always worth it, right?" Mike Rose interviews several indie game devs for Gamasutra on the ups and downs of doing online multiplayer
May 12, 2014
“Something in [the bear’s] heart did tear, when he saw what went on in there: pointless objects hanging mid-air, hidden subtext from just a square?” mocks the game’s trailer in a kind of Dr. Seuss for the proudly under-read.
What some indie developers would do with Call of Duty. Me, I'd change the name to 'Call of Doody' and make it about the plight of poop-fanciers seeking validation in Today's Army. Which is probably why I shouldn't be making games.
May 8, 2014
Nekogames is just a great big bucket full of (mostly Flash, unfortunately) games, many of which are truly splendid, all of which were possibly created by Yoshio Ishii, but that is not entirely clear. What is clear is that if you are like me and were previously unaware of Nekogames, you should hie yourself hence immediately.