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What does oil represent? Us. Gamers.

Let's look at the evolution of gaming, from a business perspective, using oil.
posted by Smart Dalek on Apr 12, 2013 - 12 comments

In which we discuss the politics of the Mario Universe.

...Although as he self-styles himself "King Koopa," it is apparent that he claims (or is seeking) parity of esteem with Princess Peach; that is to say that he does not regard himself as a "terrorist," but as a "freedom fighter" or entitled ruler in his own right.
posted by Navelgazer on Apr 10, 2013 - 24 comments

No Sanitation? No Services? No Problem!

Megabumtopia (explanatory Reddit thread) is a virtual libertarian paradise which houses over a million happy Sims without worrying about things like 'power' or 'sewage treatment' or 'drinkable water'. SimCity's recent launch problems have been discussed previously on Metafilter.
posted by codacorolla on Apr 7, 2013 - 145 comments

The unsaid subtext was "millions of Gamers JUST LIKE US."

"Today I donated my Xbox 360 Elite to Goodwill. It represented a time in my life as a developer that I'm not overly proud about living." A former Microsoft game designer reflects on how his ex-company turned gaming into a bro thing and perfected a formula for the modern console title.
posted by Rory Marinich on Apr 7, 2013 - 128 comments

A Quantum Leap in games reviewing

"This week, I'm a ..." Christopher Livingston (aka notmydesk) plays mundane PC simulations so you don't have to! Read, heart-in-mouth, as he masters the art of Being a Wolf in WolfQuest, treats objects like women as a furniture-fixated Hugh Hefner in Playboy: the Mansion, makes a thrilling escape from the life of a simple cruise ship captain in Ship Simulator: Extremes, disappoints the masses in Circus World, and performs routine adminstrative tasks and dates a cartoon lawyer in the frankly terrifying-sounding Love & Order. [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim on Apr 6, 2013 - 27 comments

Mundane simulation

German Truck Simulator. Bus Driver. U-Boat Simulator. Ski Region Simulator. London Underground Simulator. Street Cleaning Simulator. Who's buying all these niche simulation games, anyway? We found out
posted by Pope Guilty on Mar 24, 2013 - 59 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

So You Want To Be A Pixel Artist?

Ah yes, the grass tile...Generally the first tile anyone does, because hey, if you're making an RPG, and you plan to have it take place on a world, you're probably going to need grass. [...] Grass, when you think about it, is millions of tiny blades randomly growing at different upward angles, and unless it's been stamped down flat or mowed to perfection, doesn't look smooth. So why make a tile that does? [more inside]
posted by smcg on Mar 21, 2013 - 19 comments

Faster Than Light

Davis and Ma wrote up a long list of one-paragraph game pitches to prototype. They would be small, manageable games that two people could complete on their own. The game they chose to go with would have to be finished within a year, because that was all they had budgeted for. Among the pitches inspired by board games, roguelikes and all the genres that excited them was a 2D, top-down management game called FTL. The Opposite of Fail - The making of FTL (Previously)
posted by Artw on Mar 17, 2013 - 19 comments

Jumping never felt so deliberate

Take the twitch out of platforming with Bump, a delightful new little turn-based randomly-generated roguelikelike by clever game dev and creative fellow Aaron Steed. Jump at or on or over things! Collect diamonds with head-bumping! Avoid and/or destroy spikes and bad guys! Try not to die! Die anyway! It's a good time. [more inside]
posted by cortex on Mar 17, 2013 - 12 comments

The Atlantic - Benj Edwards

The Copyright Rule We Need to Repeal If We Want to Preserve Our Cultural Heritage
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Mar 15, 2013 - 34 comments

Mages didn't do enough research on climate change

Tropical Skyrim is an overhaul mod that transforms the icy province of Skyrim into a tropical area. Here's a short showcase video and a longer video.
posted by ersatz on Mar 14, 2013 - 55 comments

Vlambeer: Bringing back arcade since 1741

GUN GODZ is a fast-paced, lo-fi FPS that serves as a reminder of the difference between modern duck-and-cover and DOOM-era FPSs. Its quality is unexpected for a game that was created as an extra treat for supporters of a Kickstarter, and a testament to its iterative design. It is the brainchild of Vlambeer, a 2-person studio that releases games with old-school sensibilities. [more inside]
posted by ersatz on Mar 13, 2013 - 19 comments

Your home is your castle.

The Castle Doctrine is the new "home invasion MMO" from cult game designer Jason Rohrer (previously: Sleep is Death, Passage, Chain World). It portrays a rather bleak world in which you must place traps to defend your home, family and life savings from an onslaught of burglars. At the same time, you must invade other players' homes to steal their life savings, in order to buy more expensive traps and tools. The more money you gain, the more attractive target your home is, so you better be clever in rigging up those traps. It's fiendish, brilliant, and currently open for public alpha at 50% of the full price. Rock Paper Shotgun has some early impressions: Part 1, Part 2.
posted by naju on Mar 13, 2013 - 101 comments

"BioShock Infinite is not a formula game"

"Propaganda shields ideas from danger, and I think I'd rather expose ideas to danger. I think that's what I like to make in these games, is to take ideas and say, well, let's see what happens when these aren't protected." With the much anticipated release of BioShock Infinite just two weeks away, EuroGamer sits down for a lengthy chat with creative Director Ken Levine about philosophy, politics and God. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Mar 12, 2013 - 92 comments

A Roguelike Primer

Best In Genre for Neophytes and Veterans Alike
posted by Artw on Mar 10, 2013 - 81 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

Flash Friday: Second Empire Artistic Demimonde Edition

In the new game Avant-Garde, you play an up-and-coming artist in 19th century Paris, a contemporary of Manet and Bouguereau. Carve and sell allegorical statue groups! Get snubbed by Napoleon III! Subsidize Gustave Courbet's drinking! Compose and promulgate your own aesthetic manifesto!
posted by Iridic on Mar 8, 2013 - 56 comments

"Pop Culture Often Mocks My Faith, But Fallout Treated It Right."

Skip Cameron, a Mormon, writes for Kotaku on the respectful treatment of Mormons and Mormonism in Fallout: New Vegas.
posted by Pope Guilty on Mar 6, 2013 - 81 comments

"Pushing a Wall", "Mock Baptismal" and "Stirring Excrements with a Stick"

In 1560, the Flemish Renaissance artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder created Children's Games, a painting featuring about 80 contemporary games. Included among the games are "Pushing a Wall", "Mock Baptismal" and "Stirring Excrements with a Stick".
posted by dbarefoot on Mar 1, 2013 - 53 comments

Player Elimination

Allan B. Calhamer, creator of the board game Diplomacy, passed away on February 25th. Despite the game's success he never made a living off it, and worked for many years as a mail carrier in La Grange Park, Illinois. Chicago Magazine published a profile of him in 2009.
posted by 23 on Feb 28, 2013 - 39 comments

Out of ammo, nearly dead, monsters outside. But! I have a can of meat.

If Doom and Nethack lived in Estonia and had a baby, it'd be named Teleglitch, a recently released pixelated action roguelike that will completely murder you if you're not very careful about how you explore its procedurally-generated corridors, fighting off former coworkers, crafting spare parts into new stuff and hunting for ammo and food and clues as to what the hell went so terribly wrong at the Militech R&D facility on Medusa 1-C. The game has a 4-level demo (Windows and Linux, Mac too apparently) which will probably kick your ass plenty all by itself. [more inside]
posted by cortex on Feb 26, 2013 - 56 comments

Campers? Stupid. Counselors? Heroes. Slasher killers? Slashing, killing.

The 80s horror film genre called, and then you got a beep and turn-based squad tactics video games were on the other line, and it was a pretty confusing phone call basically but in the end you got the message that someone wanted Camp Keepalive back. Because it is awesome. And it runs on Windows and OSX and you should download the demo right now. [more inside]
posted by cortex on Feb 23, 2013 - 39 comments

It's-a First Person, Mario!

First Person Mario. First Person Mario: Endgame.
posted by Navelgazer on Feb 22, 2013 - 26 comments

"Cloud doesn't cry. CLOUD SCREAMS."

I Wanna Be The Guy is a game so hard it borders on is outright masochism – hilarious, frustrating, glitchy masochism. One brave man, known only as Cloud8745, recorded himself playing the entire game, and documented his descent from frustration into incoherent gibbering madness. To get a feel for IWBTG, you may wish to start at the notorious Ghosts & Goblins section, which is particularly difficult, or, if you'd like a taste of its depraved sense of humor, this is among the game's funniest rooms. (The punchline comes two minutes later, but you can only truly appreciate it by watching Cloud struggle through it over and over again – generally, IWBTG gets funnier the longer you watch it be played.) If you'd like to watch the whole thing, there's [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich on Feb 20, 2013 - 50 comments

putting the high in high fantasy

FYI: Chivalry is now a game about knights in low gravity, screaming and screaming and screaming. [more inside]
posted by cortex on Feb 15, 2013 - 22 comments

Depression Quest

Depression Quest is an interactive fiction game about living with depression. Pay what you want, or play for free. A portion of the proceeds go to http://iFred.org. Here's a rather perfect trailer for the game. [more inside]
posted by naju on Feb 14, 2013 - 60 comments

You Will Select A Decision

"In 1987, an anonymous team of computer scientists from the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic wrote a series of children's books based on the popular Choose Your Own Adventure series. The books were hastily translated into English and a small number were exported to America, but the CIA, fearing a possible Soviet mind control scheme, confiscated them all before they could be sold. Now declassified, the books have been lovingly converted to a digital hypertext format and put online for the English-speaking world to enjoy."
posted by Iridic on Feb 8, 2013 - 72 comments

See if glass breaks. Jump on stuff. See if bullets leave holes.

Gamers are the ultimate trolls.
posted by Faint of Butt on Feb 8, 2013 - 109 comments

"The cryptanalyst has two cards in her hand, so there's nothing to do"

A card game to teach computer security. [d0x3d!] is the creation of some Naval Postgraduate School computer scientists, designed to help players learn digital security concepts. Playtested with middle school students.
posted by doctornemo on Feb 8, 2013 - 7 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

Once a guy stood all day shaking bugs from his hair.

Hey Web Surfers! Is your family bugged by roaches? You're not alone. Although people may think roaches like dirty places, even the cleanest homes can have them. Roaches Are Everywhere!
posted by KokuRyu on Feb 1, 2013 - 39 comments

Arms Manufacturers <3 Game Publishers

Shooters: How Video Games Fund Arms Manufacturers. An investigation into how real life weapons are licensed for videogames, and how those videogames market guns to young people, published by gaming news site Eurogamer.
posted by The Devil Tesla on Jan 31, 2013 - 82 comments

TIE Fighter: A Post 9/11 Parable

TIE Fighter: A Post 9/11 Parable
posted by Drinky Die on Jan 31, 2013 - 36 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

D I C K H A N D

"For the past few years, I have been trying to learn how to do all the various creative and technical things that go into making a video game - programming, graphics, interface, writing, gameplay design - in addition to music and sound, which I do for a living. The 2013 Global Game Jam was this past weekend, and over two sleep-deprived days I completed my first solo project: A game for OS X and Windows where you punch spaceships with your dick. (Probably safe for work, unless your boss considers it inappropriate to see a pink laser beam with a boxing glove on the tip which shoots out of a giant robot's groin.)"[via mefi projects]
posted by ocherdraco on Jan 28, 2013 - 13 comments

Saving Zelda

Second Quest is a fully funded Kickstarter comic by David Hellman (the artist of Braid) and Tevis Thompson that attempts to put the criticisms of modern Zelda games in Tevis' essay Saving Zelda (previously) into comic book form. As Tim Rogers says, "People are willing to pay money to make a comic book about Zelda‘s pedantry exist. What a weird time."
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Jan 21, 2013 - 71 comments

Advance to blue triple circle!

Take a copy of Monopoly, cover it in lye for a few days, boil from off the bones whatever flesh remains, and give the clean white skeleton a tasteful, minimalist paintjob, and you end up with ONOPO, an extreme reduction of the original boardgame by Metafilter's own Matthew Hollett, aka oulipian. Via mefi projects, hat tip to fastcodesign c/o Rock Paper Shotgun's always-lovely Sunday Papers feature.
posted by cortex on Jan 20, 2013 - 56 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

For Amusement Only: The life and death of the American arcade.

But the golden age was destined to be a very short one. Walter Day told writer Tristan Donovan, author of the book Replay: The History of Video Games, that the industry was "off the rails by" 1981, opening more arcades and ordering more machines than its players could ever support. By early 1982, cracks were already starting to show in the newly flourishing industry: that $400 a day machine, Time Magazine reported, was often "sucker bait, dangled to obscure the dreary truths that markets are becoming saturated and that dud games... bring in no money at all."
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jan 16, 2013 - 42 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

High Impact Bloody Violence

After years of deliberation, Australia finally have an R 18 rating for games, allowing a wider range of games to be legally released in Australia. The first game to be rated R18 will be Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, a Wii U game that will receive that rating due to its 'high impact bloody violence'.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Jan 10, 2013 - 59 comments

Is the Steam Box here?

Valve and Xi3 team up to bring the Piston to CES.
posted by Artw on Jan 8, 2013 - 112 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

Counterfeit Monkey

> examine mourning dress
A black vintage gown trimmed with much lace and dripping with jet beads.

> wave U-remover at mourning dress
There is a flash of psychedelic colors, and the mourning dress turns into a morning dress. An outfit of striped trousers and fancy coat, such as men sometimes wear to fancy weddings in the morning...

Counterfeit Monkey: a game of word manipulation.
posted by Iridic on Jan 7, 2013 - 53 comments

The Physics of Bad Piggies

The physics of Bad Piggies:  Scale, mass, scale again,  balloons and friction
posted by Artw on Jan 7, 2013 - 11 comments

NSF/smashthestate

Password Security in Deus Ex
posted by Zarkonnen on Jan 5, 2013 - 61 comments

Christopher Robin is a Sadist

Flash Friday!!! It's Winnie The Pooh Home Run Derby! In Japanese! And insanely difficult!
posted by clorox on Jan 4, 2013 - 42 comments

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