32 posts tagged with videogaming.
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Honest tales from the trenches of AAA game writing

“Even that didn't work," she said. "One of the directors on God of War 3 said, 'I need your input on this, this is what design's doing. And I said ‘this is bullet proof, there is no way you can ruin my narrative moment.’ -- "I come back the next week and they ruined my narrative moment."
Gamasutra talks about writing for AAA games
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 14, 2015 - 36 comments

Oh my god, he just ran in

In what would turn out to be a watershed event in the history of viral videos and online multiplayer gaming, footage of the Leeroy Jenkins incident was uploaded to the internet ten years ago today (previously).
posted by prize bull octorok on May 11, 2015 - 74 comments

How to keep gamers happy losing to Pay to Win players

Paying to Win: Battlefield Heroes, Virtual Goods and Paying For Gameplay Advantages -- Ben Cousins, then general manager of Easy, EA's free to play development studio, looks at the controversy surrounding Battlefield Heroes and its "pay to win" model and how the game was (re)designed to deal with those complaints while still getting people to spent money on it. -- More presentations are available from his website.
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 17, 2015 - 7 comments

Our protagonists, our characters, can be anyone.

Elsinore is an adventure game set in the world of Shakespeare's Hamlet - which places it, historically, in 16th century Denmark. Since we began work on the project a year or so ago, I've shown the playtest build to family, friends, and strangers alike. After they're done playing, intermingled with their feedback on gameplay, they often point to Ophelia and ask: Why is she black?
For Gamasutra, Katie Chironis, team lead and writer of Elsinore talks about why they made the protagonist black, the possibilities of black people living in Denmark in the 16th century and why history and "history" in games is so often whitewashed.
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 28, 2015 - 110 comments

If you've played Larry, you know me

I'm Al Lowe and I created a series of games called Leisure Suit Larry for Sierra back in the '80s and '90s along with another 20 games and titles back in that period. I was with Sierra from 1982 until 1998 when it -- well, it was the poor victim of a hostile takeover by criminals. How about that for an opening?
The creator of Leisure Suit Larry interviewed.
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 18, 2015 - 45 comments

This princess is in her own castle

Hanako Games’ Long Live the Queen is a princess story all about facets and demanding respect. You play as Princess Elodie, who must replace her late mother as queen by the end of the year. It’s a princess power fantasy where you learn all about Elodie’s world so that she may navigate politics both at home and abroad and survive attempts on her life. It’s a brutal game, as you learn how to progress by failing and/or dying repeatedly. It’s maddening for perfectionists.
Kim Nguyen plays Long Live the Queen and Princess Maker.
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 16, 2015 - 24 comments

"Because girls are nerds, guys, and they want to buy your stuff"

For a 12-year-old girl, playing games on an iPhone is pretty regular behavior. Almost all of my friends have game apps on their phones, and we’ll spend sleepovers playing side by side. One day I noticed that my friend was playing a game as a boy character and asked why she wasn’t a girl. She said you couldn’t be a girl; a boy character was the only option.
Madeleine Messer is a sixth grade student who went looking for why her mobile games rarely feature girls. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 15, 2015 - 66 comments

A free to play DayZ/Minecraft mashup is Steam's most popular 2014 game

What is the most popular Steam game of 2014? The answer may surprise you, as it's a free to play game made by sixteen year old Nelson Sexton. (In totally unsurprising news, the game with the most hours played per user is Football Manager 2015.)
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 9, 2015 - 29 comments

How much do indie PC devs make, anyways?

Back in November one of my primary concerns was that the general public had little to no knowledge of ocean oil drilling to begin with. I wasn't modeling the game realistically (in fact, I did little to zero research on oil drilling at all) but I knew that the focus of the game might hurt me a bit. Who the heck would know, or care, anything about ocean oil anyways?
David Galindo describes what happens when you launch an oil drilling game as an independent developer just after the largest oil spill in history took place in the Gulf, in part one of his series on how much indy devs earn. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Feb 2, 2015 - 12 comments

Gaming while Black

"Just because I sit here and say I haven't felt overt racism or harassment doesn't mean I don't know what it is and that I haven't experienced it elsewhere in my life, or that my mother didn't grow up in a world where there were colored drinking fountains," Harvey said. "This is stuff that happened and stuff that we think is relevant still today, on a lot of levels. And I think many people are very aware of this, a lot of gamers are very aware of this stuff in their daily lives. Games are a way of processing, a way of playing through an experience that is maybe more intense than you've ever felt it – you're sort of living in that avatar's skin. I guess, in a way, we're trying to put them in a skin they're maybe not used to, or maybe they would be interested to inhabit."
Jessica Conditt looks at the realities of videogaming's treatment of race and is cautiously optimistic.
posted by MartinWisse on Jan 21, 2015 - 7 comments

Turn away. Our creative lives are limited.

  • The correct definition of ‘game’
  • Narrative vs Mechanics
  • Randomness vs Skill
  • The importance of realism
  • Casual vs Hardcore
Daniel Cook: the top 5 game design debates I ignored in 2014
posted by MartinWisse on Dec 27, 2014 - 73 comments

Students applauded and were visibly moved in the game's final moments

The best learning games are always fun. Try playing them yourself and see if you enjoy them. No matter how advanced your understanding of the subject matter, a good game should still be fun. I've understood algebra and number partitions for decades, but DragonBox and Wuzzit Trouble are still challenging puzzlers that I like to fiddle with on long airline flights. All good games offer challenges in intuitive ways. In fact, this is the reason games work so well for learning: Players are intrinsically motivated to identify and succeed at understanding the game's mechanics.
The MindShift Guide to Digital Games and Learning provides a basic introduction to the use of video games in education, gives several thought-provoking examples, and points to numerous sites with related goals, including Edutopia's articles on game-based learning and Graphite's reviews of digital games with educational content. Meanwhile, this being what The Guardian has just called "Board games' golden age," resources such as Play Play Learn, BoardGameGeek's Games in the Classroom, and The Dice Tower's recent countdown of "Top Ten Games for the Classroom" offer interesting options for the tabletop as well. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Nov 25, 2014 - 5 comments

I should go

How Bioware helped one lucky couple unlock the paramour achievement in Mass Effect.
posted by MartinWisse on Nov 10, 2014 - 54 comments

Ambridge: the MMORPG

But consider how much of videogaming is controlled by corporations like Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo and Apple. Their influence is far-reaching, and their decisions often show little regard for their audience. That’s dangerous. The PC is a fine and flourishing alternative, but it’s an anarchic ecosystem. There ought to be a third way, an organisation with the influence of a corporation but the interests of the people at heart. That’s what the BBC can represent. That’s what I feel we need in games.
In an impassionate editorial at Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Graham Smith draws on the Corporation's pioneering role in television as he sets out his reasons for wanting the BBC to enter videogaming.
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 30, 2014 - 37 comments

A wavebird of nostalgia: the history of the Nintendo GameCube controller

“Our target user for this controller is not very specific, it’s very general, as even a beginner who has never touched the controller can use it, your grandmother can use, or even children with small hands can use it." Shigeru Miyamoto devoted more time and energy into the GameCube’s controller than any of Nintendo’s previous controllers. The NES controller was the first controller to add a D-Pad, the SNES controller would be the first to add shoulder buttons, and Nintendo 64′s controller introduced the analogue stick to 3D consoles. How would Miyamoto be able to top his previous three achievements? The Pressure to Create the Perfect Controller, from Dromble.com's Emily Rogers.

Previous Dromble and Emily Rogers on Metafilter: A Dolphin's Tale: The Story of GameCube.
posted by porn in the woods on Aug 28, 2014 - 32 comments

"the biggest crotch-desiccant since Piers Morgan"

I tend to measure most of my work in rent. Freelance game critics, like most freelance writers, probably measure most things in rent. I also like to measure my wellbeing in whether I can afford a bottle of Sailor Jerry that month. This only reflects a little of the type of person I am. The Sailor Jerry sort of helps to cope with the fact that I am my own worst commenter. Sailor Jerry is also very useful for coping with actual commenters and the hell of the internet.
Cara Ellison: How to write about a game.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 28, 2014 - 21 comments

Women as Background Decoration: Part 2 (Tropes vs Women in Video Games)

Women as Background Decoration: Part 2 – Tropes vs Women in Video Games (28 min 33 sec; here's a pointer to the identical video at YouTube). Warning: contains graphic sexual and violent game footage. Presented by Anita Sarkeesian of the video blog, Feminist Frequency. The website version (first link) is annotated to include links and resources, an "about the series" section, games referenced in this episode, and a transcript. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 27, 2014 - 399 comments

Would you like to choose Bellsprout as your starter?

Pokémon Zeta & Omicron are not ROM hacks. They are standalone fan-made Pokémon clones created with RPG Maker XP, featuring around 80 hours of gameplay, 2 regions with 12 gyms, a coherent storyline, "tons" of endgame content, Shadow Pokémon, Delta Pokémon, all 649 Pokémon through gen V, secret bases, mega evolutions, challenge modes (previously), and sometimes quirky dialogue. Though still in beta, it's a playable game [YT], patches to which have slowed. Each new version is posted to the sub-Reddit /r/pokemonzetaomicron.
posted by Monsieur Caution on Aug 5, 2014 - 8 comments

Cat Power: Super Mario 3D World preview

"Meow." He forms his hands into claws and performs a slow cat-scraping motion. To his left and to his right sit the esteemed producer and the director of Super Mario 3D World. "Meow," they both say, before also demonstrating the clawing feline action. Shigeru Miyamoto on Super Mario 3D World, arriving next month on Wii U. Copies are beginning to show up in reviewer's hands: Super Mario 3D World is shaping up beautifully. It's a visual stunner, with gorgeous effects and lighting that take Mario graphics to an entirely new level, certainly showing greater flair than the 2D New Super Mario Bros. U. There are some attractive textures at work, with the art style flourishing with powerful hardware, alongside a rock steady and terrifically fluid frame rate. Eurogamer offers a look at 5 levels [part one | two | three] • Previews from Nintendo: E3 2013 Developer Direct | October trailer | Gameplay trailer • Nintendo Minute: Multiplayer | New Power-Ups
posted by porn in the woods on Oct 26, 2013 - 55 comments

It is a game-crazed community that stretches around the world

Azen. PC Chris. Korean DJ. Mew2King. Ken. Isai. Mango. The Smash Brothers is a 9-part, 258-minute documentary on the history of competitive Super Smash Bros. Melee. Series discussion. Via.
posted by Monsieur Caution on Oct 25, 2013 - 20 comments

For fans of: pixels, archaeologists, fatalism

CRYPT WORLDS: Your Darkest Desires, Come True!
A game for PC, Mac, and Linux. By Elizabeth Deadman.
Audio by Liz Ryerson, who made Problem Attic.

The trailer will persuade you to consume it.
The guide will tell you how to walk and urinate.

It is pretty cool.
posted by Rory Marinich on Oct 20, 2013 - 38 comments

What kind of pants does Super Mario wear? Denim Denim Denim

Nintendo's Famicom (the Japanese counterpart to the NES) launched in Japan three decades ago this week. Ars Technica and NintendoLife have posted tributes and history lessons of this console.
posted by porn in the woods on Jul 16, 2013 - 15 comments

Gaming the black dog

Toward the end of 2008 my own sister Christina, who has suffered depression from a young age, experienced a particularly low period. “I began playing Fallout 3 because I needed a distraction. I didn’t think it would help because I was having trouble focusing on anything for very long. I ended up playing it for 14 hours a day for about 3 weeks.” This might be considered unhealthy – some might want to categorise it as “pathological gaming” – but for Christina it was crucial for getting through the day. “It got me out of bed in the morning. Becoming so involved in the storyline and the tasks gave me a reason to keep on going, and it was so far removed from real life that it made me feel better.” -- Over at Rock Paper Shotgun, David Owen takes a look at the link between clinical depression and gaming, if any and if they might help people cope with it.
posted by MartinWisse on Jan 25, 2013 - 36 comments

My looks are often commented on long before the work I've done.

Women in the gaming industry have taken to twitter to talk about the sexism they've faced under the hashtag #1reasonwhy [more inside]
posted by dinty_moore on Nov 27, 2012 - 139 comments

A long way to go to lose

Here is a video playthrough of The Legend of Zelda without a sword. It is possible to get right up to the last boss without one, although it requires knowing a lot of tricks. That is exactly what mev1978 does in his playthrough, without dying. And then he does it again in the second quest. First quest (1:61:31) - Second quest (1:13:18) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 26, 2011 - 33 comments

Goodbye, Blue Sky

The Blue Sky In Games campaign is an old but still relevant call to embrace bright colors and happy themes in videogames. It's the opposite of the currently prevailing Real Is Brown style. Because of cheerful Sega games like Outrun and Afterburner, it is often referred to as 'Sega Blue Skies'.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Apr 26, 2011 - 33 comments

The Power Of Killer Tofu

Back when Super Meat Boy first came out, PETA made a parody game called Super Tofu Boy, which sort of sucked hard. Really hard. But the developers were amused, and so they put a secret into the game, letting you play as Tofu Boy himself! Unfortunately, the anemic little man could only jump half as high as the titular character and was unable to run, making it seem absolutely impossible to use him in any capacity. He can't even complete the very first level of the game.

And so, he was shelved as a joke character, and everyone forgot about him.

Or not.

{OTD}q has just released a video showing almost every possible level possible to beat with Tofu Boy and set it to a killer soundtrack, pairing the popular fansong/remix "The Power of Meat" with a lovely mix of everyone's favorite band.
posted by flatluigi on Mar 26, 2011 - 73 comments

Gaming in the Clinton Years

In the mid-1990s, a man named George Wood created a TV show called Flights of Fantasy on a Maryland public-access channel. The show was was dedicated to videogames, and gained quite a few detractors; Wood was not known for his playing skills, research, or good taste, and the production was rather cheap. He would also tend to go off-topic, sometimes markedly so.

It had a small following, being a local public-access show, but would have been lost forever had Wood not joined a video gaming association called NAViGaTR, who archived the entire series, edited each episode, and put them online as Gaming in the Clinton Years.
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko on Mar 21, 2011 - 12 comments

Achievement Unlocked: Read the article fully before commenting

Greg Mclanahan of Gamasutra talks how to design achievements right.
posted by flatluigi on Mar 20, 2011 - 78 comments

Poison Shroom

RIP 1UP & EGM. [more inside]
posted by juv3nal on Jan 7, 2009 - 63 comments

MmmmMm .. . I wants me one o' them robot corpse thingies. . ..

Videogames are falling into the uncanny valley. (Previous mefi discussion: 1 2 -- aw, hell).
posted by Tlogmer on Jun 12, 2004 - 26 comments

2-bit executives

Video Gaming: it's a Dumb, Dumb, Dumb, Dumb Industry.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Jun 13, 2003 - 12 comments

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