Defense of the Ancients is a MOBA (what's a MOBA? | comprehensive history of MOBAs) that has skyrocketed in recent years from a humble Warcraft multiplayer mod to a genre-defining megahit whose worldwide competitive bracket The International (whose finale airs tonight) boasts a prize pool of more than $10 million dollars. While publisher Valve is determined to help mainstream the esports craze with helpful
noob newcomer-friendly broadcasts of the final and a simulcast on ESPN, the community has been dogged by accusations of hostility and a very steep learning curve. Luckily, you don't have to know anything about DOTA to enjoy the best thing to come out of it so far: 45 minutes of witheringly sarcastic in-game meta-commentary [playable transcript] in the dulcet tones of Kevan Brighting, the very charming (and very British) narrator of beloved metagame The Stanley Parable. Once you're finished with that delightful deconstruction of esport tropes, you might also enjoy perusing similar announcer packs for Portal's GLaDOS, Bastion's Rucks, and... a pirate. ＤＩＧＩＴＡＬ ＳＰＯＲＴＳ!
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.
"The experiences of women may not be easy to portray in the aggressive world of videogames. If such a game is made - and I hope it is - it will be because its creators demanded to be heard. It will be created because women made it." (Source)While the vast majority of video game titles are designed primarily by men, women have been a part of video game development since the earliest arcades. Here are some of their games: [more inside]
No GLaDOS. No Chell. No portals. Set in the 1980s. Competitive multiplayer. Multiple endings. The Portal 2 That Could Have Been.
The Nightmare Before Christmas' " This Is Halloween " sung by everyone's favorite turrets and murderous AI in " This Is Aperture "
Have you every wanted to try GLaDOS' chocolate cake or S’Jirra’s Famous Potato Bread with a Nirnroot Salad? We've got Starkos straight from the streets of Hillys, and steak skewers prepared in Inaba's finest lunch stops. If you're thirsty we've got some NukaCola Quantum or Lon-Lon Milk, and there's always FK in the coffee. All these recipes and more from your favourite virtual worlds can be found at Gourmet Gaming
Portal 2 has finally hit the streets, and despite a somewhat rocky start with their controversial promotional ARG (previously), it looks to be a huge success. Interestingly for such a critically-acclaimed blockbuster, the title's core ideas steam from a pair of concept projects from student design school DigiPen: the original portal system from Narbacular Drop (video - download - previously) and the sequel's physics-altering gels from Tag: The Power of Paint (video - download - previously - previouslier). Combine these innovative ideas with some Lost-meets-Life After People level design, excellent voice acting, and top-notch writing, and it's easy to see why so many people called in sick this past week. But playing the game is just the beginning -- look inside for a collection of easter eggs, story theories, videos, and other goodies from the post-mortem. [more inside]
While controversy erupts again over the corrupting influence of video games, some developers are working on projects it is very hard to get angry about. Chime, an XBox game to be released for PC tomorrow, is one such project. [more inside]
It's well-known at this point that Valve Software hired the team of Digipen students who made Narbacular Drop to turn their student project into Portal. But even people who drooled over the new mechanics in the Portal 2 E3 videos may not be aware that Valve has hired another team out of Digipen for that. If you're looking for a preview, you should probably download and play Tag, the game the new mechanics are based on, in which you explore a grey, cell-shaded world by spraying paint on it.
bonus level is a new flash gaming portal. Games include Captain Dan V Zombie Plan, reminiscent of Berzerk, Push, an unusual platformer that combines level manipulation with quick-reflex timing and jumping, Jump Gear, an acrobatic timed racer and a ton more I haven't even tried yet. What sets bonus level apart from other gaming portals is that it's headed by three great names in game development, Wouter Visser (Wouter), Tõnu Paldra (tonypa) and Jean-Philippe Sarda (JP). Part of their philosophy is allowing anyone who registers to make and share levels for their games, as well as giving budding designers access to the flash APIs used to create all of bonus level's games.
So you've spent the holidays playing games, but now you have to be back at work. How to get your gaming fix during commutes and lunch-hours, whilst keeping up with that resolution to Learn Something New this year? Well, you could make a Sack-Boy. You can keep your portable games device warm with a Zelda cosy. You can knit up a Pacman scarf or a Space Invaders bag or socks if you're feeling retro. Or you can make a pocket ninja, an invincibility star to get you through the afternoon, a maqgnetic Katamari ball to spring-clean that desk, or a friendly companion cube. (and if you're too cack-handed to knit, you can sew a friendly cube with the pattern here and tutorial here!)