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Worth Reading: 05/11/2012

As the weekend approaches, there's glitches, haunted houses, omnipotent walls, and the introduction of a new feature.

I'm blaming my cold on Silent Hill: Downpour.

Colds are the worst. You gain a legitimate excuse to lay around all day, but the effort needed to do anything makes it a moot point.

I’m battling through a mild cold right now, and I’ve re-written this opening sentence more than a dozen times. It’s unclear whether each time was because the sentence wasn’t any good or I just can’t tell anymore. I guess it doesn’t matter. Not like I can tell.

Worth Reading has been going for a little while now, and I’ve been pleased by the reception. It could always be better, though, and I’m introducing a new feature at the bottom. Whenever I feature a game or story, it’s featured because I’ve taken the time to read or play it. I’m constantly taking note of games and articles all week, though, and it seems a shame that I’m not able to share any of them because I ran out of time.

As always, let me know what you think, and keep sending me game and article recommendations!

Hey, You Should Play This:

Designer Michael Consoli is onto something with Against the Wall, a first-person puzzler that imagines a chaotic civilization where the world is dictated by an omnipotent wall. The wall does not talk, it does not speak, but the wall is life, is everything, and in order to survive, you must push and pull the wall, and hope your jumps are well-timed along the way. Against the Wall has been in Consoli’s pet project for the last year, and he’ll attend NYU Game Center later this fall because of it. Against the Wall might be put on the backburner during that time. Maybe we can convince him otherwise? You can find out for yourself, since early versions of the game are available for download now.

And You Should Read These, Too:

I’ve become obsessed with watching The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time speedruns, as players discover and manipulate different glitches within the game that allow them to finish it in absolutely astonishing times (the last one I saw was 22 minutes!). Glitches give rise to myths, and myths can be powerful toys for the imagination. The arcade near me as a kid was one of the Midway testing grounds, and we constantly received updated versions of Mortal Kombat long before the games came out. The rumor about Kano and Sonya being playable via glitch took on legitimate life at my arcade, since new revisions were always coming through. Jason Johnson heard about a haunted house in Red Dead Redemption, and went about investigating. His lesson? Be careful what you wish for. Mwhaha!

The ghost hunt was a bust. More curious than the mansion itself is why videogames generate urban legends in the first place. I have my own theory on this. It shows that a game has been assimilated into culture, to the point where people are willing to make up bullshit about it, which might be the highest achievement of all for a game. In the classics, this sort of rumor mongering happens all the time.

You’ve heard us talk about EVE Online before, and it won’t be the last time the space drama is mentioned on Giant Bomb. I’m still not sure how to tackle covering EVE Online. When even Dave can’t find a way to break through to the game, I’m willing to admit defeat up-front. Right now, I’m searching for an EVE Online ambassador--a guide, if you will. In the search for captivating stories, however, EVE Online is full of them, as the “Burn Jita” event recently underscored. “Burn Jita” was a massive attack on the economic infrastructure of EVE Online, headed by the group “Goonswarm.” Developer CCP Games has published a blog about the “Burn Jita” event, which includes a fascinating breakdown of the technical logistics involved with scaling and maintaining such a large player event.

Since the "Burn Jita" event was announced well in advance and CCP wants to support player-driven events (as long they are within the rules of the game), we reinforced the Jita solar system on our beefiest hardware, further reinforced all neighbouring systems and set out to monitor the event and provide the best experience we could to willing (and unwilling) participants. Then things started to unfold a day earlier than announced on Friday morning. We gathered data and fine-tuned the systems and as CCP Veritas put it: "It's okay, didn't want that Friday night anyway."

And Some Other Stuff:

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek
I'm blaming my cold on Silent Hill: Downpour.

Colds are the worst. You gain a legitimate excuse to lay around all day, but the effort needed to do anything makes it a moot point.

I’m battling through a mild cold right now, and I’ve re-written this opening sentence more than a dozen times. It’s unclear whether each time was because the sentence wasn’t any good or I just can’t tell anymore. I guess it doesn’t matter. Not like I can tell.

Worth Reading has been going for a little while now, and I’ve been pleased by the reception. It could always be better, though, and I’m introducing a new feature at the bottom. Whenever I feature a game or story, it’s featured because I’ve taken the time to read or play it. I’m constantly taking note of games and articles all week, though, and it seems a shame that I’m not able to share any of them because I ran out of time.

As always, let me know what you think, and keep sending me game and article recommendations!

Hey, You Should Play This:

Designer Michael Consoli is onto something with Against the Wall, a first-person puzzler that imagines a chaotic civilization where the world is dictated by an omnipotent wall. The wall does not talk, it does not speak, but the wall is life, is everything, and in order to survive, you must push and pull the wall, and hope your jumps are well-timed along the way. Against the Wall has been in Consoli’s pet project for the last year, and he’ll attend NYU Game Center later this fall because of it. Against the Wall might be put on the backburner during that time. Maybe we can convince him otherwise? You can find out for yourself, since early versions of the game are available for download now.

And You Should Read These, Too:

I’ve become obsessed with watching The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time speedruns, as players discover and manipulate different glitches within the game that allow them to finish it in absolutely astonishing times (the last one I saw was 22 minutes!). Glitches give rise to myths, and myths can be powerful toys for the imagination. The arcade near me as a kid was one of the Midway testing grounds, and we constantly received updated versions of Mortal Kombat long before the games came out. The rumor about Kano and Sonya being playable via glitch took on legitimate life at my arcade, since new revisions were always coming through. Jason Johnson heard about a haunted house in Red Dead Redemption, and went about investigating. His lesson? Be careful what you wish for. Mwhaha!

The ghost hunt was a bust. More curious than the mansion itself is why videogames generate urban legends in the first place. I have my own theory on this. It shows that a game has been assimilated into culture, to the point where people are willing to make up bullshit about it, which might be the highest achievement of all for a game. In the classics, this sort of rumor mongering happens all the time.

You’ve heard us talk about EVE Online before, and it won’t be the last time the space drama is mentioned on Giant Bomb. I’m still not sure how to tackle covering EVE Online. When even Dave can’t find a way to break through to the game, I’m willing to admit defeat up-front. Right now, I’m searching for an EVE Online ambassador--a guide, if you will. In the search for captivating stories, however, EVE Online is full of them, as the “Burn Jita” event recently underscored. “Burn Jita” was a massive attack on the economic infrastructure of EVE Online, headed by the group “Goonswarm.” Developer CCP Games has published a blog about the “Burn Jita” event, which includes a fascinating breakdown of the technical logistics involved with scaling and maintaining such a large player event.

Since the "Burn Jita" event was announced well in advance and CCP wants to support player-driven events (as long they are within the rules of the game), we reinforced the Jita solar system on our beefiest hardware, further reinforced all neighbouring systems and set out to monitor the event and provide the best experience we could to willing (and unwilling) participants. Then things started to unfold a day earlier than announced on Friday morning. We gathered data and fine-tuned the systems and as CCP Veritas put it: "It's okay, didn't want that Friday night anyway."

And Some Other Stuff:

Edited by OrfBC

Yay, I always enjoy these. The civilization of my Friday afternoon is dictated by the wall of Worth Reading. Worth Reading does not talk, it does not speak, but the Worth Reading is life, is everything.

Ok, maybe not quite that much.

Posted by ajamafalous

Passion Pit is pretty dope.

Posted by DarkAlpine

As an ex-Eve Online player, the only real way to understand player fueled events is to talk to a bunch of the factions and try to puzzle piece it together. Ain't easy imo.

Posted by Leptok

This is basically propaganda, but it makes a great read as well: 
 

Sins of a Solar Spymaster #78: The Extortion of Empire

 
 


     An outbreak of rare peace across nullsec has unleashed upon New Eden a wave of macro-level market manipulations that have already begun to reshape the power relations between hisec and nullsec. Five critical events have coincided with this peace, two from CCP and three from nullsec blocs: the mineral supply changes in the Escalation patch released April 24th, a crackdown on botting and RMT by CCP’s security division, the creation of OTEC - a price-fixing cartel which controls the Technetium supply - the Sack of Jita, and the newly bloc-sponsored Hulkageddon .   
 

So: the Sack of Jita was only the tip of the iceberg, the birth-scream of a new economic era that was only hinted at during the Ice Interdiction. Nullsec now sends gankers into hisec to disrupt an already thin mineral supply and bankrolls freelancers via Hulkageddon to destroy miners en masse; each exhumer destroyed can only be replaced by production that requires cartelized Technetium, which goes right into the pockets of the very people bankrolling the gankers. A tremendous amount of uncertainty now hangs over the head of every hisec trade hub and each producer within it, as if Jita can be sacked, perhaps Amarr, Rens, or Dodixie could be next - and that uncertainty drives prices up still more. I can state affirmatively that there will be more ‘burns’ of trade hubs by nullsec alliances, but future attacks will not come with two months of warning - if there is any notice at all.


http://www.tentonhammer.com/eve/spymaster/78
Posted by Shaanyboi

Thanks once again for all this shit to distract me from doing my job, Patrick! And no, that wasn't sarcasm.

Posted by Mumrik

The rumor about Kano and Sony being playable via glitch took on legitimate life at my arcade,

Sony?

Posted by patrickklepek

@Mumrik: Sonya. coughcoughcoughcoughcough

Posted by xite

Just looking at the description Against the Wall sounds a lot like a first person Pushmo. That's neat I guess.

Posted by F12

The reviews section for the wikipedia article bit.trip "book" seems to suggest that these are getting put up and priced to take advantage of people trying to search for actual games - if you accidentally hit "buy it now" on that because the price and the title looked right, I guess you'd be out the ~$60CAN. That said, was there EVER an actual box release of BIT.TRIP.BEAT (besides that 3ds bit.trip collection)?

Posted by Cloudenvy

Jebus, the story about Free Radical is super tragic. What a shame.

Posted by MarkWahlberg

Haven't listened to much Passion Pit, but this is possibly one of my favorite mashups ever.

Posted by Rhombus_Of_Terror

I've lost count the amount of times I have toyed with the idea of playing EVE Online...

Posted by Nonentity

Patrick, I love your Worth Reading segments. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Edited by mdnthrvst

@Leptok said:

This is basically propaganda, but it makes a great read as well:

Sins of a Solar Spymaster #78: The Extortion of Empire




An outbreak of rare peace across nullsec has unleashed upon New Eden a wave of macro-level market manipulations that have already begun to reshape the power relations between hisec and nullsec. Five critical events have coincided with this peace, two from CCP and three from nullsec blocs: the mineral supply changes in the Escalation patch released April 24th, a crackdown on botting and RMT by CCP’s security division, the creation of OTEC - a price-fixing cartel which controls the Technetium supply - the Sack of Jita, and the newly bloc-sponsored Hulkageddon .

So: the Sack of Jita was only the tip of the iceberg, the birth-scream of a new economic era that was only hinted at during the Ice Interdiction. Nullsec now sends gankers into hisec to disrupt an already thin mineral supply and bankrolls freelancers via Hulkageddon to destroy miners en masse; each exhumer destroyed can only be replaced by production that requires cartelized Technetium, which goes right into the pockets of the very people bankrolling the gankers. A tremendous amount of uncertainty now hangs over the head of every hisec trade hub and each producer within it, as if Jita can be sacked, perhaps Amarr, Rens, or Dodixie could be next - and that uncertainty drives prices up still more. I can state affirmatively that there will be more ‘burns’ of trade hubs by nullsec alliances, but future attacks will not come with two months of warning - if there is any notice at all.


http://www.tentonhammer.com/eve/spymaster/78

Those are quite possibly the illest two paragraphs I've ever read.

Someone in the community should just craft a novel out of all this economic and corporate intrigue. I'd read that in a heartbeat, 'cause there's no way I'd EVER play EVE Online.

Posted by bybeach

Must be cooler up there in SF...too hot in the South Bay to have a damned cold! Going to be 89 tomorrow. Pat needs to get out in the sun and burn it out of him.

One of the pivotal events that taught me a dark aspect of the Internet was when Something Awful turned on it's own Eve guild for shits and giggles. Ostensibly it was because the Something Awful guild had mutated into Something Un-Awful like, but I kind of got the impression it was just sanctioned bloodletting. You weren't going to lose $20.00 over it while you screwed over a targeted fellow member. I lost what little interest I had in that site that I was wanting to have before. I never understood all that, though Eve has little value to me. The game sounds like very occasional exciting stuff buried in tedium and labor thats incidentally set in outer space. You might as well be doing it in a corporation cubicle.

Posted by gbrading

That Betascript Publishing re-purposing Wikipedia articles and selling them on Amazon makes me sick to the stomach and absolutely furious. How dare they. That is absolutely disgusting. I work for a reputable publisher and it makes me livid to think there are bastards like that out there leeching off other people's hard work. I'm sickened Amazon would even allow them to sell on their site.

Posted by fisk0

@Cloudenvy said:

Jebus, the story about Free Radical is super tragic. What a shame.

Yeah, this reminds me a lot of the storiesabout GRIN's demise in 2009. Especially the LucasArts bit sounds a lot like how the GRIN founders described their relationship with Square Enix ("At one point, Square demanded that the entire game be sent to them by fax"), though some anonymous ex-employees of GRIN later said the studio had internal quality problems beyond abusive publishers.

Posted by CaptainInvictus

I think they're called Goonswarm, not Goonsquad. Goon Squad is the usual name for most Something Awful-based guilds/clans in games, but the EVE dudes felt that they were beyond the scale of a "squad", and rightly so when they're massing literally tens of thousands of people at a time.

Posted by Hailinel

So, George Hotz is a socially inept man-child? Color me shocked.

Edited by Christoffer

Alright, a Worth Reading I'm only semi drunk to read (It's 3 am when I'm reading this. Smiley phase) I love these articles. Keep it up, Tricky.

Posted by g6065

Thanks Patrick!

Posted by Carlos1408

Awesome article, thanks Patrick. :)

Posted by Mumrik

@patrickklepek said:

@Mumrik: Sonya. coughcoughcoughcoughcough

I was too confused to be a smart-ass about it.

Posted by Birdman_LIVE

This is the first time I've read this feature and I appreciate you highlighting more 'underground' aspects of gaming. It's so refreshing to read something written by a game journalist that can't be filed under preview, review or developer interview (that's carefully managed by a PR professional). The article about RDR gives me a great excuse to put that game back in my 360 and do some ghost hunting. Many thanks.

Posted by HadesTimes

Kill Screen all ways has awesome articles. They really get into games. More than most people care to or have time to. Last bastion of video game journalism greatness. Present site excepted of course....

Posted by amlabella

I interviewed Michael Consoli about Against the Wall about a month or two ago and it seems like a really interesting project. I'm definitely looking forward to the final product. And yeah, that new Passion Pit single is pretty cool. *thumbs up*

Posted by Moonshadow101

Interesting stuff. Thanks Patrick!

Posted by LiquidSwords

Have the Grammar Nazi show up yet?

Posted by skynidas

I always read this, it's great Patrick! Thanks for the hard work.

Posted by ussbutte

@bybeach said:

I never understood all that, though Eve has little value to me. The game sounds like very occasional exciting stuff buried in tedium and labor thats incidentally set in outer space. You might as well be doing it in a corporation cubicle.

I played Eve ages ago, and the game is what you make of it. It's up to you whether you spend hours "ratting" (doing PvE kill quests), mining, or trading. Or you can scam players out of their ISK and make money hand over fist. Or join one of the communist corps (like Goonswarm) and get subsidized ships to make your life easier. I'll never understand the people who played in high-sec though (the more PvE-oriented areas); that is the worst grind I can think of.

Basically, to have fun in Eve, I think you either need to love repetition, or be really bloodthirsty.

Posted by CornBREDX

The Geohotz story was really good. I have placed aside any hacking I used to do, and that's why I respect Geohotz as he never did anything maliciously and I always recognized that (among a bunch of other things around anonymous and the things others don't understand about how hacking or "hacker groups" work). I don't really like his attitude, but that's just part of being young and so intelligent I guess. He'll probably mostly grow out of that- he's smart enough.

The Frictional Blog is always good. I guess I don't have much more to say about that, but I've been a fan of theirs for a really long time and I always appreciate anything they have to say on the topic of horror games. There's not enough discussion about it or how to progress the medium. A lot of the things he touched on in that blog has been done, but its never fully been done together. There's always other mechanics left out or missing. I think a big part of that is "how do we do this and still claim this is a game?" I think that will be figured out eventually, only time will tell.

Anyway, another great wrap up to the week and some great reading. Thanks Patrick.

Posted by Claude

It wouldn't be Friday without a little Worth Reading. Sometimes I don't get to read them until Saturday, but always worth it.

Posted by MosaicM80

I read the haunted mansion story and it actually frightened me a little bit. I wonder if that's actually designed into the game or was it just a weird glitch? I'm half tempted to go look... and half tempted not to.

Posted by Leboe

The ingame goon name's gone through a few iterations. Thy started as goonfleet (A corporation) and eventually formed the "goonswarm" alliance. Many years later, through some metagaming, they ended up losing both names, and have since reformed under "Goonwaffe" corp and "Goonswarm Federation" alliance.

Posted by Getz

Sir, your tense agreement is SORELY LACKING.

Posted by hxcaleb

I come to Giant Bomb, and remain a subscriber for stuff like this. Giant Bomb is one of the only larger sites out there that still puts a lot of heart, and personality, into the things they post. Honestly, I wish there were more sites out there like this. I constantly love the videos, and articles you guys post, and thanks to you Patrick for giving me new things to read each week. Keep this article going!

Posted by JasonR86

Agghhh a Patrick related article! Aghrrhhghghgh I'm so angry I need to bitch and moan and scream and Aghhhhhh!!!!!

By the way, what up Tricky!

Posted by VoshiNova

@patrickklepek: I love your articles, cold or no cold!

Posted by LordAndrew

Are we talking about beating Ganon as a child? I want to talk about that, because it's awesome. Also, swimming past Mido.

Edited by ptys

That's an interesting point about, say a hunted house in 'Red Dead' or that Shenlong in SF2 rumour, which wasn't true. The way little Easter eggs are exposed by the net nowadays made me think... what if say you had that secret hunted house level that the player stumbles across, but it's generated entirely at random for each copy of the game. Not a code expert but that would be cool if you knew there was something rare to look for, but there was no actual way of cheating your way to it. Food for Next Gen. thought?

Posted by Nigthguy

You should watch Mario 64 speedruns, they pull off some stunts that makes you think a robot ninja is playing. Also, great work as always Trick

Posted by InternetDetective

I SAy, who is this mysterious Goonfleetsquad???

Posted by MyNiceIceLife

You continue to amaze me with your suggestions on games to check out. I never would have heard of Against the Wall, but thanks to you I get to enjoy this little gem. Keep up the great work Patrick!

Edited by mnzy

I quite like this new Passion Pit single. 
 
Also, I have like 17 new tabs open now, thanks to this feature.

Posted by dropabombonit

Good stories this week trick, I have also got the cold atm so I feel your pain

Posted by Zawa

I love checking out Worth Reading every week. Keep it up!

Posted by Humanity

Those darn goons.

Online
Edited by Neon_Knight

Man holy shit I knew Free Radical had a rough time but when you really lay it all out there like that those poor blokes. A little bit a hubris coming off of GoldenEye but the best intentions all the way getting them kicked around to every developer and shat on a little more each time. Then twice in the future more GoldenEye branded games pop up and ruin their shit or crush their hopes.

The saddest part is now they are Crytek UK, which is fine, but they are working on Homefront 2. Crytek give these guys TimeSpliters 4 to work on to boost their spirits then let them do something original.

I was so hoping Insomniac would have been the ones to pick up Free Radical. They would have meshed well with the independent environment and the tone of the games they make I bet. Resistance kind of picked up the Timesplitters torch.

Posted by SpaceJamLunchbox

Well done as always, Patrick!

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