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(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ GOOD GAME

Tabletop Simulator is a, well, simulator for tabletop gaming. The trailer shows a number of applications: classics like chess and chinese checkers, RPG campaigns, and games using a standard deck of playing cards. And if you're looking for something with less structure you can set up domino chains. The game supports net-play with friends (video has a bit of cursing), with the option of flipping the table if the game isn't going your way. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Apr 19, 2014 - 34 comments

Dust and Echoes

The world of video game music has blossomed in recent years, enough to support live concert tours and bestselling albums. But while most such work is licensed or contracted out to third-party composers, a rare breed make their living at a single company, imbuing entire franchises with their unique sound. And apart from Nintendo's venerable Koji Kondo, there is perhaps no dedicated gaming composer more renowned than Martin O'Donnell. From humble beginnings writing the jingle for Flintstones Vitamins, O'Donnell and longtime collaborator Michael Salvatori joined developer Bungie in 1997, penning music for Myth, Oni, and most notably the Halo trilogy -- an iconic blend of sweeping orchestral bombast, haunting choirs, and electronic ambience that became one of the most acclaimed and successful gaming soundtracks of all time. O'Donnell also helmed Bungie's audio department, managing voice actors, sound effects, and an innovative dynamic music engine, and was most recently working with Paul McCartney on the score for the upcoming Destiny. So it came as a surprise today when it was announced MartyTheElder was being terminated without cause (flabbergasted reaction: HBO/DBO - NeoGAF - Reddit). With O'Donnell following Joseph Staten, Frank O'Connor, Marcus Lehto, and other Bungie veterans out the door, what might this mean for the company and its decade-long plan for Destiny? [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Apr 16, 2014 - 28 comments

This is why we can't have nice things.

"Naturally, the record for the largest and most costly single engagement in EVE history was expected to stand for some time. It didn’t."
posted by Evilspork on Apr 8, 2014 - 48 comments

Indie Ain't Just a Word

Jared Rosen offers a postmortem of GAME_JAM, a failed reality show about game development produced by Maker Studios and sponsored by Pepsi. Contestants Adriel Wallick, Robin Arnott, and Zoe Quinn also offer their perspectives.
posted by gilrain on Mar 31, 2014 - 46 comments

Lemmings not included.

Six games that really get suicide. A very interesting look and insight into six video games with a pronounced realistic theme of depression and suicide.
posted by mediocre on Mar 31, 2014 - 9 comments

"Mortal Combat. Same floor, two doors down, talk to Vern."

Pete Holmes, who was previously highlighted here for his "Ex-Men" sketches, has decided that the one-on-one-interview-with-pop-culture-characters format really works for him, and so we now have "Street Fighter Red Tape" with Ryu, Vega and Chun-Li. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Mar 19, 2014 - 13 comments

Then the game gets interesting again as you will be back to trains.

Crates in video games. (previously) Trains in video games. Birds in video games. Wall art in video games. Luchadores in video games. Foliage in video games. (previously) Logic in video games. Easter eggs (secret content) in video games. Normal eggs (and other food) in video games. Toilets in video games. Improved women's armor in video games (slightly NSFW). (previously) Bears in video games. Mickey Mouse in video games. Love in video games.
posted by Evilspork on Mar 18, 2014 - 21 comments

Race to the bottom in 3... 2... 1...

How clones, fear, sanitisation and free-to-play soured Apple’s iOS gaming revolution
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 14, 2014 - 67 comments

In war, not everyone is a soldier.

The generic war game has come under fire from many sides, prompting more thoughtful games, such as the recent Spec Ops: The Line (previously) and others. However, short of post-apocalyptic zombie-type games, no one has thought to make a game about the civilians - survivors living in the cities that other people battle over. Until now.
In This War of Mine, the focus is shifted away from military operations portrayed in most games. Instead, it is a dark survival game where players control a group of civilians trying to stay alive in a besieged city. During the day snipers outside stop you from leaving your refuge, offering players time to craft, trade, upgrade their shelter, feed and cure their people. At night they must scavenge nearby areas in search for food, medicines, weapons and other useful items. This War of Mine was inspired by real-life events and delivers a message. "This can happen in your city, in your country."

posted by corb on Mar 13, 2014 - 62 comments

A Questline About Thieves Who Never Steal Anything

Shamus Young examines the idea of "story collapse" (the moment where a story reaches a critical point of ridiculousness and causes you to question every other aspect of it) by deconstructing the Thieves Guild quest-line in Skyrim: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5. Entertaining reading for writers, designers and gamers alike.
posted by codacorolla on Mar 4, 2014 - 90 comments

Female portrayal in video games

QCF Design talks about making their game Desktop Dungeons more gender neutral. [more inside]
posted by arcolz on Mar 4, 2014 - 27 comments

What fire dies when you feed it?

Game of the Year. Some words and a comic on success, depression, insecurities and validations by the writer of The Stanley Parable
posted by yellowbinder on Feb 21, 2014 - 9 comments

Goonswarm didn't get where they are today by "playing it smart."

The first issue of the new EVE Online comic book from Dark Horse comics is now available for free download (free registration required). What's particularly interesting about the "EVE: True Stories" comic series is that the stories are retellings of actual player-driven game events. The first story to be adapted is the downfall of the Band of Brothers alliance, which we talked about previously.
posted by 256 on Feb 21, 2014 - 40 comments

000500

"Well, I did it. This is THE lowest possible score you can finish [Super Mario Bros.] with (without continuing)." via
posted by griphus on Feb 20, 2014 - 36 comments

Steam Tags

This past week the digital game distribution service Steam unveiled a new beta feature: user contributed tags for games. Unsurprisingly, the feature was quickly abused, leading to Steam introducing means to moderate tag usage. The plus side to all of this is that you can now play a game where you match Steam tags to the games they describe! Steam Tags: The Game
posted by codacorolla on Feb 15, 2014 - 31 comments

Archive.org Makes Microcomputer Software Lives Again, in Your Browser

Archive.org is known for archiving a great number of things, broadly classified in terms of the web, written and printed text, studio audio and live music, and video. The most recent addition comes in various realms of software, as outlined by Jason Scott (MeFi's own jscott). But the newest addition is notable because it brings old software back through online emulation - behold, the Historical Software collection, from productivity software like VisiCalc (1979), WordStar (1981 Osborne 1 version), and The Print Shop (1984, NYT review) to vintage games including Eastern Front 1941 (1981), The Hobbit (1982), and Karateka (1984). If you're interested in the way this all works, you can read more on the Archive.org blog.
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 13, 2014 - 45 comments

Fierce Moves

Power Couples : Classic Video Games Reimagined as Romance Novels [more inside]
posted by griphus on Feb 12, 2014 - 12 comments

Cube

Cube: A Video About Video Game Graphics
posted by flatluigi on Feb 8, 2014 - 19 comments

Why The Fighting Game Community Is Color Blind

...the fighting game community is one of the only communities out there where you're playing next to somebody — right there. There's no booths, there's nobody playing on the other side of the country or whatever. You're playing right next to each other.
How the [fighting game community's] roots grew the most racially diverse community in gaming.
posted by griphus on Feb 7, 2014 - 26 comments

Why should someone get to profit from something they did fifty years ago

"So why should a singer get to profit from a recording of his doing some work thirty-five years ago? The answer “because it’s his song” just isn’t good enough. It was PC Ironburns’ arrest. “But creating that song may have taken years!” PC Ironburns spent years investigating the crimes before he caught that pesky crim! The electrician had to study for years to become proficient enough to rig up lighting. The doctor spent seven years in medical school! Imagine if this system we wholly accept from creative industries were accepted elsewhere – the ensuing chaos would be extraordianry. Take Broussard’s claim above, that “Creatives have a right to be paid indefinitely on their work”, and switch out “Creatives” for any other job. “Dentists”, “teachers”, “librarians”, “palaeontologists”… It starts to appear a little ludicrous." -- Rock Paper Shotgun's John Walker on copyright and the need for videogames to enter the public domain.
posted by MartinWisse on Feb 3, 2014 - 238 comments

Knock it down to two buttons. Come on, this is crazy.

Street Fighter 2 is one of the game industry's biggest success stories, but its history is often told secondhand... In an effort to remedy that, over the past year we tracked down more than 20 former Capcom employees and business partners and asked them to tell it in their own words.
Street Fighter 2: An Oral History
posted by griphus on Feb 3, 2014 - 39 comments

Breaking Madden

This NFL season, Jon Bois has been on a weekly mission to turn Madden 25 from a reasonably accurate video game simulation of football into strange and wonderful things using only the character editor and rules options already present in the game. He's created BEEFTANK, an unstoppable 400 pound quarterback/bowling ball. He turned off the offsides rule in a quest for 60 fumbles. He demonstrated to us all that Pat McAfee is the Destroyer of Worlds. He's proven that you can NEVER count out Touchdown Tom. Today, he ended the season with a Super Bowl for the ages. In short, he has Broken Madden. (previously) [more inside]
posted by Copronymus on Jan 30, 2014 - 86 comments

The World's 13-th Best Donkey Kong Player has Something to Prove

Shaun Boyd enters the Kong Off. Check out the 16min video embedded in the article.
posted by MoonOrb on Jan 29, 2014 - 9 comments

Ridiculously comprehensive overview of the Nintendo GameCube's lifespan

A Dolphin's Tale: The Story of GameCube
The company discovered that many gamers became personally attached to their consoles. They would take their consoles over to a friend’s house to play, or they would move their console from one room to another. Nintendo decided to include a handle on the GameCube to give it portability and a more personal, friendly look.
posted by porn in the woods on Jan 24, 2014 - 35 comments

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

From 3-D WorldRunner to Zombie Nation

"This is a collection of EVERY SINGLE Nintendo (NES) start screen in alphabetical order!!!"
posted by griphus on Jan 23, 2014 - 21 comments

NINTENDO COMPANY JAPAN

The beforemario blog showcases the toys and games Nintendo created in the period from the mid 1960s to the early 1980s, including: Nintendo Popeye Trump cards, Nintendo Love Tester, Nintendo Ultra Hand, Nintendo Disney Baseball Board, Nintendo Companion, Nintendo Mamaberica baby stroller, Nintendo Monster Copy, Nintendo Bee Hive Game and Nintendo Mister Magician Coin & Stick. Full list.
posted by timshel on Jan 22, 2014 - 19 comments

The Murphy Bed has been made less lethal.

"Become Enemies with Child" wish no longer appears and other patch notes for The Sims.
posted by griphus on Jan 21, 2014 - 56 comments

Honorable Death

Flash Friday Fun: Dojo of Death
posted by griphus on Jan 17, 2014 - 12 comments

"This is storytelling at its finest!" - IGN

Gun Home: The Ultimate Gone Home DLC* [via] [more inside]
posted by figurant on Jan 16, 2014 - 59 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

As the instrument of DOET I became responsible for their salvation

The Cult of the Peacock. It’s easy to forget that at one time all videogames had manuals. I used to like reading manuals. Manuals were cool. Now, instead of manuals, we have interactive tutorials. They take about fifty times longer to produce, three times longer to consume, and players hate them so much that their highest aspiration is to become completely transparent. Currently I spend most of my waking hours developing them. It should come as no surprise that I hate them too.
posted by Sebmojo on Jan 12, 2014 - 48 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

A bland malaise, descending

Best video game blogging of 2013, via Critical Distance
posted by Sebmojo on Jan 5, 2014 - 18 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

Start from an exit and kill the Dungeon God.

Ernesto: A Quick RPG
posted by griphus on Jan 1, 2014 - 21 comments

Game developers you should know

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

Resplendent with simple graphics and simpler rules

The Internet Archive Console Living Room harkens back to the revolution of the change in the hearth of the home, when the fireplace and later television were transformed by gaming consoles into a center of videogame entertainment... Simply click on a system below to browse through available games and cartridges and try them out. Where possible, links to manuals and additional information are available for reference.

posted by griphus on Dec 27, 2013 - 8 comments

'Tis the season

Racketboy is a retro-gaming site with an excellent series on Hidden Gems, a Beginner's Guide to old consoles and genres, the games that defined them, rare games for collectors and cheap games if you'd like to give that old console a try. Bonus: Top 20 games that nobody played but you should. Happy retro Christmas!
posted by ersatz on Dec 25, 2013 - 22 comments

TOTALLY UNAUTHORIZED

Strategy guides, then. Some were official. Some were... less official. Unauthorized, even, free to explore a game's mysteries without the nagging presence of the developers hanging over them. Of course, being unofficial meant these guides couldn't use official artwork for their covers. They had to produce their own alternate, non-copyright-infringing cover art. Can you see where I'm going with this? That's right, here are some unofficial strategy guide covers and boy howdy are they a mess.
posted by timshel on Dec 23, 2013 - 14 comments

Nearly 20 Years Ago...

Best known for creating the nostalgic mash-up REMEMBER series (previously), Youtube user Thepeterson teams up with Slackstory to create another video clip time machine: REMEMBER 1994
posted by The Whelk on Dec 20, 2013 - 16 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

Noclip

"Noclip" is a fake trailer, for a movie that, for now, is not going to be made, about the incredible power of its characters to defy the physics of the world they live in, almost as if they were cheating a videogame.
posted by Lorc on Dec 18, 2013 - 30 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

Crack Open a Sunset Sarsaprilla And Settle In

Wayside Creations' surprisingly high-budget, on location shot Fallout New Vegas fan-series returns with: Nuka Break Season 2! (Full episode playlist). Rejoin Twig the Vault-Dweller, Ben The Ghoul , Scarlet The Escaped Slave and the Mysterious Ranger as they deal with the explosive aftermath of Season 1. (Nuka Break Previously, Wayside Creations previously)
posted by The Whelk on Dec 11, 2013 - 47 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

"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

Video games are for boys

Despite a customer base that crosses many demographics, a large part of the video game industry has remained resolutely focused on appealing and marketing to male players in the 18-24 age group. It wasn't always this way. Although early coin-op and console game development was male-dominated, titles in the 1970s were either marketed for entire families or for adults in bars and later arcades. What changed? Polygon investigates.
posted by figurant on Dec 4, 2013 - 135 comments

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