Charlie Booker, who has previously said smarmy things in a kurt english accent about video games (and deservedly so). Lately he's done a great mini-series called "How TV Ruined Your Life", my senorita and I got a good, reflective kick on the episode about false expectations for love, and here's one on technology that makes a fair bit of pointed referenced to games:
Submitted by the99th on Fri, 03/11/2011 - 22:10.
Submitted by the99th on Sun, 03/06/2011 - 18:50.
I don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water. I don't want to say that Facebook is a crappy platform, and to hell with it. I mean, it's worth $75 beeeeellion, according to some guy who paid $3 million for shares this week. By the laws of capitalism, trying to talk it down completely would be bad luck.
Facebook is a flawed platform, but it has a lot of useful things working for it. It has 600 million registered users, half of whom play games. Those users have a high cluster-factor, where their friends are also mutual friends with their other friends, which makes for interesting juice when those users become players. It has a unified payments system. It has crimped data retrieval infrastructure and mopey-eyed, armless inter-player signaling. But it's still a child, despite its amputee status.
Are there any platforms that are also child-like, but possessed of all limbs?
Submitted by costik on Sun, 02/20/2011 - 21:03.
PC gaming is dead, saith the pundits. Halo made FPS work on consoles, so one PC genre down; RTS titles no longer repay console levels of investment, so goodbye to Stainless Steel Studios and Big Huge Games and Ensemble. Only MMOs survive, and they're moving to free-to-play.
But wait; only on rare occasions did PC games reach console levels of sales. For many years, the two markets were entirely separate -- console games sold through toy stores, PC games through computer stores -- with different developers and different media. Maybe it's not that PC gaming is dead, but that the merger of console and PC gaming that occurred in the 90s with the CD-ROM revolution is becoming a divorce?
Paradox is a company that, supposedly, should be dead. They're a Swedish developer of deep, complicated grand strategy games like Europa Universalis and Victoria -- games that do require you to RTFM, games with a deep connection to history, games that challenge the intellect rather than fine motor skills. Their games are neither casual -- they are far too challenging and complex for that -- nor "hardcore," if hardcore means requiring l33t shooter sk1llz. Their games are of the type that Johnny Wilson would once have given lengthy ink in the lost, lamented Computer Gaming World, games that demonstrate that digital games need not be about joysticks.
But Paradox is, today, more than just a PC game developer; it has leveraged a passionate following to become a publisher and distributor of PC games, even as the conventional publishers have abandoned the platform. Through Gamer's Gate, they offer more than 2000 titles, many of them 'indie' in nature and many of the old PC gaming mould. Unlike Valve, they do not require you to install a piece of software that consumes system resources permanently and downloads crap you don't want in the background. While Steam still generates more unit sales for many developers, Gamer's Gate has become a substantial revenue source for many -- and is more open to indies.
In addition, they publish many independently developed PC games, providing both distribution as well as funding. Since "PC games are dead," distribution is largely digital, either through their own portal or others, though you may find the occasional SKU in a brick-and-mortar store.
This week, we will be featuring games recently published by Paradox from independent developers -- games that might not be considered sufficiently 'indie' by some, but which are certainly not funded by major publishers, developed by in-house studios, or are confined to the handful of genres the publishers still consider not-dead.
Evidently, PC gaming isn't dead; it's just pining for the fjords.
Submitted by the99th on Sun, 02/20/2011 - 06:24.
Gregory Weir, esteemed auteur and occasional commenter here, has a blog that's pretty good. He wrote an essay around the end of 2010 that's really good. Basically, he takes the perspective that the casual/hardcore duality isn't mutually exclusive, and that these conditions are born of transient experience, which is what Hericlitis would have said if he made games in Flash.
Might shed some light on this Castlevania II/III duality as well.
Submitted by sebastian sohn on Thu, 02/17/2011 - 01:14.
I was debating with an instructor for a video game history class. I am asking him to add more home computer games to the curriculum because majority of the games in his course are console and classic arcade games. I remember home computer games being a big part of gaming history. Is there any proof to my theory of bigger role of home computers?
Submitted by JZW on Fri, 02/11/2011 - 23:58.
I've been watchnig Al Jazeera and BBC live reports on Egypt for two weeks now. Have you? You should have.
I don't recall ever seeing a game about modern non-violent revolutions. I find it fairly amazing, considering the impact they have had in recent history.
Submitted by costik on Fri, 02/11/2011 - 18:02.
Cory Ondrejka seems hot on using HTML 5 for Facebook games -- but oddly, in order to get a piece of mobile revenues, I guess on the theory that Apple will never let Flash on iOS, so Facebook games are only going to play on iOS devices if they're based on a different technology.
I'm all for pushing HTML5, but this strikes me as a really weird rationale; Apple devices have, and will continue to have, a relatively small share of the smartphone market, and likely the emerging tablet market, too (notwithstanding Nokia's Win7 idiocy). To push HTML5 as a means of getting revenue from <20% of mobile users is silly.
The reason to push HTML5 is that Flash is leaky and slow, and you can actually get better performance in a standards-compliant way with HTML5. Think of it this way; if Web standards had supported an animation canvas and two-way communication between client and server from the inception, Flash would never have existed. With its large installed userbase, and large number of developers, it's not going to go away quickly, but its raison d'etre is now gone.
Not that I would advise embarking on HTML5 development right away; the only browsers that are HTML5-compliant so far are Chrome, Mozilla 4.0 beta, and IE9, which is now in "release candidate" status, but not officially out. So a relatively small proportion of the audience can use HTML5 apps yet.
Still, if a major player like Facebook throws its weight behind HTML5, the transition will occur more quickly.
Incidentally, Mozilla has announced the winners of its HTML5 game competition. Not a lot of gems here from a gameplay perspective, but pretty good as a demonstration of what the technology can do.
Submitted by the99th on Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:25.
Nokia has partnered with Microsoft.
Let's just take a moment to pause and quietly breath in the stupid. Smells like napalm.
Submitted by the99th on Sun, 02/06/2011 - 00:36.
Ok everybody, we're going to revolution the way new game ideas are pitched. No more unique selling points, no more "Katamari meets Madden" - use your math skills!
For instance, Cityville was: Social City / (Farmville * Frontierville)
Simple right? Even the names work out with this math.
Submitted by the99th on Fri, 02/04/2011 - 05:31.
My mom sends me this email:
"If you were to go to college for gaming, where would you go, someone’s son wants to go so they asked me."
Here's my response:
I've talked to a fair share of these kinds of people...
The short answer is, don't.