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.
Microsoft has unveiled their new console
, and it wants to dominate your living room. How Xbox One plans to fight Sony, Steam, and everything else.
The physics of Bad Piggies: Scale
, scale again
Gaming made me
- RPS writer Patricia Hernandez on how Fallout 2 shaped her world view, her politics and her sexuality.
Fans of flora versus undead violence rejoice! Plants versus Zombies 2 has been announced for Spring 2013
. However all is not well at PopCap games, with a recent layoff of 50 employees, or 10% of its staff
, citing the increased popularity of Free-to-play, social and mobile games
. Somewhat stickily amongst those reported laid off was Plants vs. Zombies creator George Fan
Sony is closing its Liverpool Studio
, previously known as Psygnosis
, developer of the WipeEout
and Lemmings games (DHTML version
). The studio created games for 28 years, first gaining attention in the Amiga era for it's high production values and stunning box art
There’s no nice way to say this, but it needs to be said: video games, with very few exceptions, are dumb. And they’re not just dumb in the gleeful, winking way that a big Hollywood movie is dumb; they’re dumb in the puerile, excruciatingly serious way that a grown man in latex elf ears reciting an epic poem about Gandalf is dumb. Aside from a handful of truly smart games, tentpole titles like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Call of Duty: Black Ops tend to be so silly and so poorly written that they make Michael Bay movies look like the Godfather series. Taylor Clark's Atlantic profile of Braid creator Jonathan Blow
has prompted some strong reactions. Are videogames dumb? Is hard to make them not dumb? Are most things dumb anyway?
The ZX Spectrum's chief designers reunited 30 years on
, discussing what became 80s Britain's most popular
home computer and gaming platform
, despite stiff competition from the technically superior Commodore 64
No GLaDOS. No Chell. No portals. Set in the 1980s. Competitive multiplayer. Multiple endings. The Portal 2 That Could Have Been
A Game About Game Literacy
(Flash, some strobe on later levels)
How Rogue Ended Up On The Sofa
- a look at the descendants of the classic game, including MeFi's own 100 Rogues
Videogames reach the uncanny valley with the facial animations
(yt video) in Rockstar's L.A. Noir
, their 1940s Los Angeles set detective game.
This week the BBC broadcast a Panorama special
(UK only link, YouTube links here
) on what it presented as the alarming rise of game addiction. Thoughtful responses from Rock, Paper, Shotgun
, both of whom point out a number of problems with it.
An Illustrated History of Games Workshop and Fighting Fantasy - Jackson and Livingstone
- audio, sans illustrations. The story of how Steve Jackson (not that Steve Jackson
) and Ian Livingstone kickstarted tabletop roleplaying in the UK and founded a gaming behemoth
that is very different today.
The biggest literary influence on my approach to game design, however, was one of the writers I worshipped as a teenager: Alice Sheldon, aka James Tiptree, Jr. Tiptree had one particular recommendation for starting a story: “Start from the end and preferably 5,000 feet underground on a dark day and then don’t tell them.” This is precisely how we begin Half-Life. It was a deliberate antidote to the many game openings that involved pages and pages of backstory presented in scrolling text.
- An interview with Marc Laidlaw
, writer for the Half Life series.
This month marks the 25th aniversary of Elite
, the groundbreaking 3D space trading game. The making of Elite
. More on the making of Elite from The Backroom Boys
the original BBC Micro
version. The Dark Wheel
The New York Times profiles Jack Vance
(but fails to mention Vancian Magic
. (Curse you Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition!)
In the wake of the Resident 5 racism flap (previously
), and with the final game released, one of it's chief detractors, N'Gai Croal, talks to its producer, Jun Takeuchi (Part 1
, Part 2
). Meanwhile industry magazine MVC takes a look at Africa as a games market