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They all have optimal strategies but pursue different victory conditions

Big Game Theory! Board games that tell stories. The Bored Gaymer. A girl likes games. HiveGod's Yell Matrix. QWERTYUIOP. 365 Days of Gaming. Those are a few of the most favorited current blogs on BoardGameGeek, and these are a few of their most favorited posts. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Jul 15, 2014 - 17 comments

Only the Lonely: Realistic Kissing Simulator

Realistic kissing simulator. [more inside]
posted by item on Jul 10, 2014 - 13 comments

Digger: Now On Almost Every Platform

Digger is a classic IBM PC game from 1983 made by Windmill Software. You can play it online via HTML5, online via Java or download a version for platforms both common and obscure. More ports are on the Links page. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Apr 18, 2014 - 24 comments

You Never Move Your Settler!

Opening Strategy Splits Civ V Studio. Since the beginning of time, man has been bedeviled by the eternal question: "In Sid Meier's Civilization, is it better to found your first city on the opening move, or move around to find a more advantageous spot?"
posted by Cash4Lead on Mar 3, 2014 - 120 comments

Irrational Games, journalism, and airing dirty laundry

No one talks to the games press officially. I wish they did, but I get it. They want to keep their jobs. Let's just say multiple people within a studio were willing to risk their careers to confirm to me that yes, in fact, if their game didn't sell extremely well, like exponentially more than its predecessor or "well" according to a matrix of time and cost investment and desired profit, that their studio would be closed in a year.
[more inside]
posted by Elementary Penguin on Feb 21, 2014 - 77 comments

CivClicker

Friday Timewaster: CivClicker
posted by saladin on Jan 24, 2014 - 93 comments

(Re)building Worlds and reverse engineering a flight sim for VR

Reverse engineering Strike Commander. Fabien Sanglard realized he wanted to play ORIGIN Systems "Strike Commander" combat flight sim using an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset (Sanglard on Oculus Rift development). But, after he learned the source code went missing during the shutdown of Origin by EA, he decided he no choice but to reverse engineer the massive—for the early 90s—game (eleven 1.44MB floppy disks!).
posted by skynxnex on Jan 24, 2014 - 9 comments

Making Your Own Fun

A tumblr collecting unusual ways to play videogames.
posted by zamboni on Jan 14, 2014 - 22 comments

Enough games to keep you occupied until 2015

freeindiegam.es has posted a bunch of "Best of 2013" lists for your enjoyment. Some of the games can be played in your browser (HTML5/Flash/Unity); others require a download—but they're all free! (And indie!) [more inside]
posted by escape from the potato planet on Jan 1, 2014 - 22 comments

Final Fontasy

Type:Rider is an exploration of the history of typography, from cave paintings to the modern day, in which you play a colon (which navigates something like a motorcycle) traversing a landscape composed of various fonts. [more inside]
posted by Lexica on Oct 22, 2013 - 3 comments

The original golden age of fantasy role playing games.

Old School FRP is a tumblr blog with a ton of illustrations and art from the golden age of Dungeons and Dragons and games that were totally not Dungeons and Dragons.
posted by Pope Guilty on Aug 31, 2013 - 33 comments

Experiment Twelve

Experiment Twelve is an ambitious game (Windows download, 218 MB), a chapter by chapter collaboration between (in order of appearance) Terry Cavanagh, Ian Snyder, Jack King-Spooner, Zaratustra, Richard Perrin, Michael Brough, Robert Yang, Alan Hazelden, Benn Powell, Jake Clover, TheBlackMask, and Jasper Byrne.
posted by nobody on Jul 26, 2013 - 12 comments

Q. Why are ducks hard to understand? A. It's because they're on quack.

A duck has an adventure, a story game. (requires Flash) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jul 3, 2013 - 17 comments

Peter Molyneux picks his favourite iPhone fart app

"Peter Molyneux has had a long and storied career. As the creator of Populous, Black & White, Fable, and the recent iPhone experiment Curiosity, he's been no stranger to ambitious concepts throughout his 30-year history in the industry. I had a chance to sit down with Peter at E3 this year, and picked his brain about three of the top fart apps on the app store."
posted by rollick on Jun 22, 2013 - 15 comments

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Alternate Reality Game puzzle design - Adam Foster of Valve talks about the design of the Portal 2 ARG, (previously)  and do's and don'ts for future ARGs.
posted by Artw on Jun 18, 2013 - 10 comments

Apple's Folly

The story of the Pippin game console
posted by Artw on Jun 11, 2013 - 53 comments

The Simulation Dream

There’s an old dream in game design. It drives the design of games like SimCity, Dwarf Fortress, Tropico, The Sims, and Prison Architect. I like to call it the Simulation Dream. - Bioshock Infinite designer Tynan Sylvester on games, complexity, stories and simulation.
posted by Artw on Jun 10, 2013 - 29 comments

Something wonderful is about to happy!

Footage of the "Sync" level from the indie game Fez. While Fez is mainly known for its central gimmick – it's a 2D platformer set in a 3D world – and for the complexity of its puzzles (which include a constructed alphabet, a code based on Tetris tetrominos, and a "practically impossible" final puzzle) – "Sync" is a retro-colored world with blocks whose rhythmic appearances and disappearances trigger notes when the player is near them. The result is somewhat enchanting (as is the rest of the game). [the Fez soundtrack with the Sync backing track; a Fez remix soundtrack with the various block rhythms added in; Fez previously on MetaFilter]
posted by Rory Marinich on May 30, 2013 - 67 comments

Current quest: saw a leg off the period table

Godville is a text-based "massively-multiplayer zero-player game" in which you play a god with rather tenuous control over a hero. Changes to the game, including quests and items, are crowd-sourced and voted on by the community The game is playable in browser and via Android and iOS apps. Official game wiki.
posted by NoraReed on May 12, 2013 - 13 comments

The game that puts you on a first-name basis with third-world dictators

"Now the trumpet summons us again—not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are—but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle [...]"
- John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address

TWILIGHT STRUGGLE is a card-driven board game simulation of the Cold War. It has been called a game of crisis management; dealing with them yourself, creating them for your opponent, and their proper timing. There is a extensive blog about the game, Twilight Strategy. This is that site's article on starting out play. This page could help you decide if it's for you. ("Do you enjoy games that are extremely tense and nerve-wracking?") Here's a YouTube video on how to play it. And, although I suggest learning to play with a physical set, the online multiplayer wargaming client Warroom has a Java Twilight Struggle client/server program available. There is also a VASSAL module, but it currently doesn't work with VASSAL 3.2 or later. There's a lot more on the game after the break.... [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 24, 2013 - 48 comments

Aspiring Animators & Game Designers, Study Your Calculus & Combinatorics

Every film Pixar has produced has landed in the top fifty highest-grossing animated films of all time. What's their secret? Mathematics. Oh, and 22 Rules of Storytelling. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 8, 2013 - 40 comments

New from VIDEO Magazine, it's Electronic Games!

NEW from VIDEO Magazine, arising out of its popular "Arcade Alley" column, it's ELECTRONIC GAMES Magazine!(page of PDF links) Brought to you by editors Frank Laney Jr. and Bill Kunkel, and filled with all the latest news on programmable home console games, computer games (with special coverage for the new ATARI 800 system), stand-alone electronic devices and arcade gaming. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 7, 2013 - 37 comments

Alternate pressing L and R as fast as you can to fluff these pillows.

Downton Abbey for the SNES. (SLYT, sadly not a real game. via tor.com)
posted by gamera on Jan 29, 2013 - 26 comments

CGBG

In November 2007, a new board game called Yavalath was invented. The rules of Yavalath are simple: Players take turns adding a piece of their colour to a hexagonal board and win by making four-in-a-row of their colour – but lose by making three-in-a-row beforehand. Yavalath has proven reasonably popular as its simple rules allow interesting and surprising situations to develop due to its innovative win with four but lose with three winning condition. But Yavalath is really set apart from the many other board games invented in 2007 by one remarkable fact: Yavalath was designed by a computer programme. [more inside]
posted by rollick on Jan 19, 2013 - 20 comments

Hunt For The Gay Planet

Hunt For The Gay Planet is a game Anna Anthropy made in response to Bioware restricting all same-sex romances in Star Wars: The Old Republic to a single planet that's part of paid downloadable content.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Jan 18, 2013 - 85 comments

Headless Body Found In Dead Island

Dead Island 2: Riptide Edition was going to ship with a statue of a bloody, bikini-clad female torso. The publisher has since apologized while Kotaku wonders what other games should come with severed torsos and Lindy West and John Walker point out the obvious misogyny.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Jan 15, 2013 - 187 comments

"Sweagledactyl": swan stuffed in giant eagle inside a pterodactyl

Courtesy of that saint of old school gaming and dark god of the underworld Jason Sholtis, who runs the awesome, previously-posted blog The Dungeon Dozen, it's a new adventure to run using the game system of your choice: THE SECRET PARTY-HOUSE OF THE HILL GIANT PLAYBOY (PDF viewer w/ available download). Looting, slaying, and party crashing beckon to the bold!
Also from Sholtis: the one-page dungeon FLESH FOR THE WITCH QUEEN. (PDF viewer with download) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 13, 2013 - 12 comments

Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a 1992 RTS.

Play Dune II in your browser.
posted by zamboni on Jan 8, 2013 - 24 comments

"All hands, prepare for MULTIBALL."

What is perhaps the best license ever applied to a pinball machine? Probably Star Trek: The Next Generation, which is surprisingly like playing an episode. Williams also released a special ROM of funny quotes from cast members that people can install into their machines. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 30, 2012 - 62 comments

"Paintings created by performing routine tasks on multi-touch hand held computing devices."

The Winning Swipe For Every Level Of Angry Birds [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 18, 2012 - 52 comments

defective yeti's good gift games guides

Matthew Baldwin (MeFi's Own* Defective Yeti*): " ...That’s why I come armed to every social engagement with board games, to help facilitate that whole human interaction thing that people thought was important before smartphones gave us an excuse to avoid eye contact with others. It’s also why I give games as gifts—and why, for more than a decade, I have been helping others do likewise. And so, my annual Good Gift Game guide, showcasing those board and card games from the last year or so that are easy to learn and teach, fun and engrossing to play, and that can be completed in 90 minutes or less." (additional notes & more games for the 2012 guide) [more inside]
posted by flex on Dec 4, 2012 - 55 comments

Žižuku seems simple, but in fact it is supremely complicated.

Let’s play Žižuku! Vaguely similar in theory to the Postmodern Text Generator, but practiced individually, rather than Markov-chain-generated text. The creator, Julian Baggini, describes Žižuku thus: "The rules are simple: pick on any widely received idea and find the most clever-sounding way to invert it, so as to create a paradox, or at least the semblance of one." [more inside]
posted by exlotuseater on Nov 17, 2012 - 21 comments

Being broken pays

Broken on Purpose: Why Getting It Wrong Pays More Than Getting It Right - 'It doesn’t end with Facebook, either. Being broken pays off, so social media is often deliberately broken. In fact, nearly every major social network, site or app has greedily pursued this logic.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 30, 2012 - 92 comments

Dark Engine 2.0?

Like Thief or System Shock 2 but have trouble running them on a modern computer?
A user over at the French-language Ariane Thief forums has uploaded a pair of unofficial patches that not only allow the games to run well on modern hardware, but also update the games' underlying Dark Engine to greatly improve graphics.
So far, Kotaku has a short write-up on the patch but otherwise this is still breaking news. Dedicated Thief fans at TTLG are currently putting the release through its paces to see what the updated engine is capable of.

Thief 2 v.1.19 patch (apparently also supports Thief 1) - Thief 2 HD Patched Demo
System Shock 2 patch - SS2 HD Patched Demo

(Thiefy stuff previously, previouslier.)
posted by dunkadunc on Sep 25, 2012 - 65 comments

The Extraordinary Quest to Put All the Super Mario Games On One Timeline

Stephen Totilo of Kotaku tries to determine the correct chronology for all the games in the Super Mario canon.
posted by reenum on Sep 9, 2012 - 23 comments

Terror has a new game...

There seems to be a recent golden age of genuinely terrifying indie horror games that experiment with new ways to upset you. Slender [PC/Mac, free], is based on the creepy Slender Man mythos and has been garnering rave reviews and videos of terrified reactions as you try to escape the being that draws ever closer. The 4th Wall [free or $1 on Xbox/PC] is a even more abstract take on existential dread. SCP Containment Breach [PC, free] features the very disturbing Sculpture (even the picture in that link will creep you out) from the SCP series, it follows another SCP game - The Staircase. And there is more - Which [PC, free] has you stumble in the dark; Ib [PC, free] places you in the shoes of a girl in an abandoned art gallery, and Candles [free, Win/Mac] is all about atmospherics. On top of that, there are some cheap independent commercial games that generate great scares, such as Lone Survivor [online demo] and the now-famous Amnesia: The Dark Descent [PC/Mac/Linux, $20], whose upcoming sequel A Machine for Pigs, may have the best title of any game.
posted by blahblahblah on Aug 15, 2012 - 117 comments

The Old Man of the Sea

Proteus is a beautiful game by Ed Key with no goals except admiring natural features and exploring a procedurally generated island [some spoilers in videos], modeled loosely after the open land near Key's parents' home in Cumbria. The game also features "reactively mixed" ambient electronic music (think 'chiptune Boards of Canada') composed by David Kanaga, which changes and shifts according to your physical context. Though only in v0.1, it has already won critical accolades, as well as an award for The Most Amazing Indie Game at A MAZE 2012.
posted by p3on on May 31, 2012 - 50 comments

If you liked the verbal portion of the SAT, but hated the monster portion...

Kingdom of Loathing creator Jick and the rest of the Asymmetric crew have spent the last four years developing a new game. Next month, the beta for the game is coming out: Word Realms! Make sure to watch the video, it's full of hilarity. [more inside]
posted by Night_owl on May 25, 2012 - 28 comments

Lexcavator

"Lexcavator is an arcade/word game for Mac, PC, and Linux. The goal: guide your guy (@) deeper into an infinite of letters by clearing words from the board! Multiple game modes, detailed record-keeping, online global leaderboards—there's something here for everybody! Pay what you want (even $0, if you are so inclined)." [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee on May 10, 2012 - 13 comments

36 Pongs

Pongs (browser game, Flash) is Pippin Barr's exploration of a tiny corner of the game design universe: 36 variations of Pong.
posted by nobody on Apr 11, 2012 - 12 comments

Monster's Den Chronicles

Monster's Den Chronicles is a turn-based Flash dungeon-crawler RPG with combat mechanics reminiscent of turn-based strategy game stalwart Disciples II. [more inside]
posted by whir on Apr 6, 2012 - 16 comments

I'm sorry!

VGJUNK looks at "Gonbee no I'm Sorry", a strange Japanese arcade maze game released in 1985 by Banpresto and Sega that mocked notoriously corrupt former Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei "Shogun of Darkness" Tanaka, who was convicted in 1983 of taking 1.8 million dollars from Lockheed Martin in exchange for letting them sell planes to the national airline.
posted by JHarris on Mar 24, 2012 - 14 comments

Swindler

Swindler! A new game by nitrome! You play as a booger theif, not a thief who steals boogers but a booger who is a thief. Also by nitrome: Rainbogeddon, a crazy take on Pacman.
posted by The Devil Tesla on Feb 22, 2012 - 9 comments

Saving Zelda

Tevis Thompson writes about Nintendo's video game series The Legend of Zelda. Specifically about how it's gone downhill since Ocarina of Time. (via Kotaku) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 22, 2012 - 113 comments

Super Samurai Sweeper

Samurai meets Minesweeper! Defeat the Seven Daimyos and their Shogun, and restore peace to the land! As the Samurai, you will have to choose your battles carefully to overcome the enemies' forces... [more inside]
posted by smcg on Feb 17, 2012 - 8 comments

A Pixie is trapped in frost...

William and Sly 2 is a gorgeous, ethereal fantasy exploration game wherein you play a nimble fox tasked with finding the scattered pages of your human friend's journal, while gathering mushrooms, finding keys to unlock mystery boxes, and freeing rune-bound spirits and pixies trapped in frost along the way. [more inside]
posted by taz on Jan 16, 2012 - 14 comments

Tinyhack

Tinyhack :Tired of the graphical complexity of Nethack? Yearn for a game smaller than a favicon?
posted by leotrotsky on Jan 2, 2012 - 33 comments

A long way to go to lose

Here is a video playthrough of The Legend of Zelda without a sword. It is possible to get right up to the last boss without one, although it requires knowing a lot of tricks. That is exactly what mev1978 does in his playthrough, without dying. And then he does it again in the second quest. First quest (1:61:31) - Second quest (1:13:18) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 26, 2011 - 33 comments

Stencyl

Here is Stencyl, a free creation system for making Flash games. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 25, 2011 - 14 comments

There is no political subtext

Greens Survive only when Reds Die
posted by rodmandirect on Dec 16, 2011 - 25 comments

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