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The Slippery Slope of Video Game Sales

When Jason Rohrer's Castle Doctrine hits Steam later this month, it will be on release sale for 12 dollars. After that, it will be 16 dollars. Forever. Rohrer talks to Giant Bomb about why he thinks constant sales are bad for games. (previously)
posted by graventy on Jan 23, 2014 - 100 comments

An Observer's Guide To Pony Fanwork

How much My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fan content is there out there? LET'S FIND OUT. A few highlights:
What I Learned Today, morals to episodes
Twilight adjusts to a Season 3 plot development
Apogee, random, catchy
Celestia and Luna play Resident Evil 4 (repurposed from Two Best Friends)
The best of Sweetie Bot, from Friendship is Witchcraft
Slice of Life, a very well done fan Tumblr
How much more could there be? Well.... [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 23, 2014 - 126 comments

Hard Type

InsaneDifficulty.com is a community site dedicated to modifications of classic games which make them more difficult and complex. There are many games hosted by the community: Chrono Trigger, Super Mario RPG, Final Fantasy VI and Dark Souls among others. Most mods are supported in dedicated forums (including installation instructions) on the site's message boards.
posted by codacorolla on Jan 16, 2014 - 53 comments

Making Your Own Fun

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

Objects in your crosshairs are exactly the size that they appear to be

This tech demo video from Pillow Castle Games (of Carnegie Mellon) showcases an innovative first person puzzler using the optical illusion of forced perspective.
posted by codacorolla on Jan 9, 2014 - 17 comments

Mountains of Post-Mortem-ness

"Last April, I began working on a game. In October, I released it. This is the story of Eldritch." David Pitman tells the story of developing and selling the roguelike/FPS Eldritch, described as equal parts Lovecraft and Minecraft. Includes lots of lovely sales figures.
posted by Artw on Jan 7, 2014 - 22 comments

Designing a Legacy Game

Risk: Legacy, released in 2011, adds an interesting twist to the classic boardgame: it introduces permanent, game-changing modifications to the board and game pieces every time it is played. Last year, the designer of the game, Rob Daviau, gave a fascinating talk on the design challenges inherent in such a game. The video of that talk is now freely available to watch. [more inside]
posted by tocts on Jan 7, 2014 - 58 comments

Broforce is a co-operative patriotism simulation.

You play as 80's and 90's action heroes waging war against terror in almost entirely destructible nostalgic settings. [more inside]
posted by Sebmojo on Jan 3, 2014 - 13 comments

The Hodge-Podge Transformer

They told me this was the Transformer. The Hodge-Podge Transformer, en route to the Ossuary. I don't understand what any of that means. I wish I could go to the Ossuary. The place of bones. That sounds simple and quiet, unlike this terrible place. [more inside]
posted by smcg on Jan 2, 2014 - 5 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

Game developers you should know

Twenty game developers you don't know, but should
posted by mediareport on Dec 27, 2013 - 29 comments

Puzzle Nerd Nirvana

griddlers.net (Java required) is a terrific site for puzzle players. [more inside]
posted by Ipsifendus on Dec 26, 2013 - 6 comments

Video Game Foliage

Video Game Foliage. "Making spaces for games is a strange and interesting art. Not being bound by physical limitations makes it possible to create impossible structures, but being bound by the technical limitations of modern computer graphics makes it difficult to create accurate simulacra of even simple objects. So video games cheat, using approximations to create the desired aesthetic result. Plant approximations are especially hard, since organic structures tend to be difficult to describe in terms that graphics cards understand. This creates an interesting design constraint. How do you create representations of plants given the limitations of realtime rendering? I plan to use this blog to show a bunch of games that choose different answers to this question. I hope you’ll join me in looking into the weird world of video game foliage." [more inside]
posted by kmz on Dec 19, 2013 - 31 comments

A Lost World

In the 90s there was a niche Japanese game development house called Human Entertainment, which was perhaps most famous for its Clock Tower series, and was also the launchpad for the career of Suda51. Before they folded in 1999, they released one final title: the massive open world detective game known as Mizzurna Falls. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Dec 15, 2013 - 10 comments

YouTube's aggressive robot approach to copyright

A furious 18-minute rant posted Wednesday has drawn attention to YouTube's new automatic content ID system, implemented in earnest this week.

VentureBeat: YouTube suddenly begins flagging hundreds of game-related videos for copyright violations
Ars Technica: YouTube goes nuts flagging game-related content as violating copyright

Any copyright claim against a video immediately results in the removal of ad revenue at the moment the claim is made, even if 1) that content is clearly fair use, 2) the game companies who own the content say they're not making a claim (like Deep Silver, which posted a statement assuring reviewers they "will not be alone in this"), or 3) the claim comes from an odd third party who doesn't appear to have a clear ownership interest. Kotaku has good quotes from gamers who strongly disagree with YouTube's claim that "channel owners can easily dispute Content ID claims if they believe those claims are invalid." Earlier today, Angry Joe posted a calmer, more detailed 31-minute video: Whats Broken & How to Fix it.
posted by mediareport on Dec 13, 2013 - 74 comments

Twenty Years of Ultra-Violence

Twenty years ago tonight, id Software uploaded Doom to an FTP server at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completely changed the video gaming industry. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty on Dec 9, 2013 - 92 comments

Games people (can) play (by themselves)

Lonely? Bored? Well, the 2013 Solitaire Print and Play Contest is here to help you stave off boredom this weekend (and burn through all of your printer ink). This year's winner is Maquis, a "solitaire worker-placement game with variable goals and a play time of approximately twenty minutes. The player places his resistance agents on spaces around town to achieve his goals - blowing up trains, publishing underground newspapers - but at the same time Milice collaborators and Wehrmacht soldiers patrol the area." [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Dec 6, 2013 - 5 comments

"This is a military base! A military base needs explosive barrels!"

Fire Point is a free downloadable puzzle-platformer (Windows only, sorry) with retro graphics and a cheerful chiptune soundtrack. Use your fire hose and ladder, along with portable fire extinguishers, to fight fires and rescue people from the blazing infernos! A trailer is available here.
posted by Pope Guilty on Dec 4, 2013 - 4 comments

Play and playability

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a MMO to play Mr Darcy in. Ever Jane, the massive multiplayer Jane Austen game has been funded and the prototype game can now be downloaded from the Kickstarter page.
posted by MartinWisse on Dec 4, 2013 - 46 comments

An Illusionist in Skyrim

This is the diary of me attempting to play Skyrim using only Illusion magic: I'm not allowed any weapons, armour, or magical items, and I can't attack anyone directly.
The first entry is here, or you can see all entries to date here.
posted by cthuljew on Nov 25, 2013 - 81 comments

What is a castle? A miserable little pile of recurring rooms!

You might've noticed that the castles in the various Castlevania games, while different in every game, often feature similar areas and architectural ideas from game to game. You probably haven't gone to the trouble to catalogue these common components and their recurrences in the sprawling Castlevania series, but this is the internet, which means that somebody has.
posted by Pope Guilty on Nov 19, 2013 - 12 comments

Whoomp

Slate's Ben Blatt "sat in a Barnes & Noble for three hours flipping through all seven Where’s Waldo books with a tape measure" and emerged with a method for finding Waldo with speed more than 50% of the time. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Nov 19, 2013 - 43 comments

Glitch is Dead, Long Live Glitch!

"The collaborative, web-based, massively multiplayer game Glitch began its initial private testing in 2009, opened to the public in 2010, and was shut down in 2012. It was played by more than 150,000 people and was widely hailed for its original and highly creative visual style. The entire library of art assets from the game, has been made freely available, dedicated to the public domain. Code from the game client is included to help developers work with the assets. All of it can be downloaded and used by anyone, for any purpose. (But: use it for good.)" [more inside]
posted by jenkinsEar on Nov 18, 2013 - 43 comments

"They love Steam, but they also... like their families"

Wired takes a look at the Steam box.
posted by Sebmojo on Nov 6, 2013 - 173 comments

The Fateful Games of Victor Gijsbers

Stalin's Story, by Victor Gijsbers, is a game combining Vladimir Propp's folktale archetypes with totalitarian manipulation. One player assumes the role of Stalin, and with it the power to dictate the rules and order executions; other players are either actors trying to beguile him with a traditional rustic tale or courtiers trying to twist the tale's elements to their rivals' discredit. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Nov 6, 2013 - 13 comments

Chess 2: The Chessening.

Chess 2 - How a street fightin' man fixed the world's most famous game. The rules are available here for free.
posted by empath on Nov 3, 2013 - 108 comments

Prison Architect flash mob

Everyone's favorite prison simulator Prison Architect wins Halloween with an awesome Easter egg.
posted by Artw on Oct 31, 2013 - 44 comments

Halloween Google Doodle

Google's Doodle is a fun Halloween themed game. Add different combinations of ingredients into the witch's cauldron for some spooky surprises. [more inside]
posted by JujuB on Oct 31, 2013 - 20 comments

Welcome to The Cutting Room Floor. 3,773 articles and counting!

Time-sink alert: The Cutting Room Floor is a site dedicated to unearthing and researching unused and cut content from video games. From debug menus, to unused music, graphics, enemies, or levels, many games have content never meant to be seen by anybody but the developers — or even meant for everybody, but cut due to time/budget constraints.
posted by Artw on Oct 28, 2013 - 11 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

Billions and Billions of Path Traces

The Physics of Light and Rendering is a talk given at QuakeCon 2013 by John Carmack, co-creator of Doom, Quake, and many other games at id Software and beyond. It provides a detailed but surprisingly understandable history of 3D rendering techniques, their advantages and tradeoffs, and how they have been used in games and movies. (SLYT, 1:32:01, via)
posted by cthuljew on Oct 17, 2013 - 9 comments

Nostalgia, Brought To You By Web Technology

The original MacPaint brought back to life in HTML5. Plus: Mario Memories.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Oct 10, 2013 - 44 comments

Prêt-à-Jouer and Videogame Couture

What happens when we stop thinking about videogames as cinema and instead think of them through other media, like fashion, dance, or architecture?
posted by rollick on Oct 8, 2013 - 23 comments

PuzzleScript

PuzzleScript: an open-source HTML5 puzzle game engine [GitHub]
posted by brundlefly on Oct 6, 2013 - 17 comments

Nope Nope Nope

Horror on the Oculus Rift is No Joke -- Don't Let Go, Alone In The Rift, Dreadhalls, Alone.
posted by empath on Oct 3, 2013 - 38 comments

My name is Atrus. I fear you've met my sons Sirrus and Achenar.

Fans and critics alike held their breath in anticipation of the tidal wave of exploratory, open-ended gaming that was supposed to follow, waiting to be drowned in a sea of new worlds. And then, nothing. The legacy of Myst, 20 years later [more inside]
posted by Frayed Knot on Sep 24, 2013 - 65 comments

I Can Figure This Out

Naya's Quest is the new game from Terry Cavanagh. It looks like a simple isometric-view platformer but every level (once the game proper starts) is essentially an optical illusion. It will do your head in. In the best possible way. [more inside]
posted by motty on Sep 23, 2013 - 17 comments

Level Up

Untold Riches: An Analysis Of Portal’s Level Design, from RPS, who have been looking at level design in their Level With Me series of interviews. Meanwhile Valve will be announcing something Monday morning - probably not Half Life 3.
posted by Artw on Sep 20, 2013 - 107 comments

Giant Bomb

PayPal locked down the developer’s account, and said it could only have 50% of the funds. The rest would be released as development continued, based on PayPal’s assessment of the situation. PayPal was, essentially, going to become a producer going forward. Crowdfunding's Secret Enemy is PayPal
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Sep 20, 2013 - 73 comments

It's not weird for girls to play videogames!

Elizabeth Simins is an illustrator and a gamer. The latter wasn't always easy, though, which she illustrates in a four-part comic on growing up as a girl gamer.
posted by gilrain on Sep 16, 2013 - 77 comments

A burrito bowl of Scarecrow

Chipotle's new ad for a mobile game is haunting, dark, and beautiful. It strikes a pretty serious chord for a fast food chain trying to launch a game that ends with a free burrito. If you were wondering how in the hell it got made, there's a behind the scenes video with the creators, designers, and animators that came up with it on their website.
posted by mathowie on Sep 12, 2013 - 90 comments

Super PAX Man

Penny Arcade and the Slow Murder of Satire. Also: Why I’m Never Going Back to Penny Arcade Expo.
posted by Artw on Sep 5, 2013 - 337 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

The Silver Gymnasium

Literate indie rock band Okkervil River have put together an adventure game to celebrate their new album, The Silver Gymnasium. It's the best Okkervil River game since Saints Row 2.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Aug 29, 2013 - 26 comments

Classic N64 Soundtracks

Did you enjoy Nintendo 64 classics from the 90's? How about their soundtracks? Well, I have some good news for you (MLYT).
posted by Evernix on Aug 28, 2013 - 6 comments

$4.99 TO UNLOCK COMMENTS ON THIS THREAD

EA is setting it's hopes for the future on Plant's Vs Zombies 2's "freemium" model, hoping they've done it "the PopCap way". Here's how to play it without paying to win.
posted by Artw on Aug 16, 2013 - 100 comments

Gone Home

Released today on Steam, Gone Home has garnered praise for its deeply affecting narrative, stripped-down design and a unique aesthetic steeped in 90's nostalgia and riot grrl culture. "When I played Gone Home I had the stunning realization that there could be a game for me. Someone can make a game for me." -Leigh Alexander. "It’s touching, unsettling, deeply honest, and enormously compassionate. -Rock, Paper, Shotgun. "Gone Home is an epic story, but its definition of epic is far removed from how we usually talk about scope and drama in games. It’s epic, personal and revelatory to the people involved, and that’s why it’s so special." -Giant Bomb. Polygon's 10/10 review. How Gone Home's design constraints lead to a powerful story. The Fullbright Company's Journey Home.
posted by naju on Aug 15, 2013 - 197 comments

EA, humble?

The latest Humble Bundle is a collection of 8 AAA games from EA. Retail price for these games is $215 but, with the Humble Bundle, users can set their own price at anything starting from $1. Humble Bundle has received some flak previously for partnering with big brands, with many arguing that they had abandoned their original purpose of promoting indie game developers. EA however, in a likely attempt to stave off such criticism, has agreed to have 100% of proceeds from this bundle go to charity.

So what's in it for EA? Three of the games in the bundle can only be redeemed through Origin, EA's proprietary digital distribution framework which has thus far had very little success at competing with Steam. Unfortunately, Origin does not seem to be up to handing the influx of new users.
posted by 256 on Aug 15, 2013 - 138 comments

"Where there is typing, there is life." —Mahatma Gandhi

Icarus Proudbottom Teaches Typing will make you care more about typing than is perhaps healthy or advisable. [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Aug 13, 2013 - 26 comments

What It's Like To Play Gorogoa

That is, perhaps, the most striking thing about Gorogoa - the potential it reveals for creating in a computer game the sort of puzzle that would be all but impossible in a physical medium. The interaction of the tiles with one another is complex and often unexpected. There are times when a sharp-eyed player can see the way forward simply by looking for congruency or potential points of contrast, but often those opportunities only reveal themselves as you play with the tiles. [more inside]
posted by smcg on Aug 6, 2013 - 23 comments

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