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Worth Reading: 10/05/12

This week's edition is coming in hot on Friday night, with plenty of stories, videos, and games to indulge with, including a passionate defense of Nights.

Everyone keeps telling me SCP Containment Breach is really good, so we'll play it eventually.

If you missed it, the test stream for Spookin’ With Scoops was earlier this week. The archive is still available on Twitch TV. If you choose, you can watch me spill my drink all over the couch, due to an unexpected encounter with my pal Slenderman.

No, we won’t be going back to the well again with Slender. As interesting as that game is, it’s played out by now, and I’m interested in playing things that haven’t come across my desk before. I’m happy to take suggestions on what those games might be, which is why I’ve started a thread on the forums for just that.

Think of Spookin’ With Scoops as something very much like Worth Reading. I don’t know what this feature is going to completely be just yet. Right now, it’s going to be me playing scary video games in the dark and screaming like a girl, but that’s not what it always has to be, and it can easily expand into much bigger and more ambitious things, as Worth Reading has done over the past few months.

So, patience. I’ll be listening to your comments, and evolving as it makes sense. The first episode will be next week!

Hey, You Should Play This

As a general rule, I don’t contribute to gaming Kickstarter projects, even ones where friends are involved. Especially as a reporter, it simply becomes too messy too quickly, and so I just abstain from the practice. One of the very few I contributed to was Gametrekking, in which designer Jordan Magnuson was seeking funding to travel around the world and create tiny video games based on what he saw, heard, and felt. I’ve written about one of his games from the Gametrekking project, The Killer, which proved especially divisive amongst Giant Bomb readers. His trek and project are now complete, and he’s put everything online with The Gametrekking Omnibus. It’s very impressive.

And You Should Read This

Yeah, Jeff doesn’t like Nights. He made that pretty clear during the podcast, and the ensuing Quick Look. There are plenty of people, myself included, who liked Nights just fine. No, I don’t think it’s the revelation that others hype it to be, but I’m not outright dismissive at what it does, especially in regards to being a time attack game. Christian Nutt has written a passionate defense of Nights, one driven by the critical pounding it’s taken as a result of the recent digital re-release. While Nutt is perhaps a bit aggressive, he soundly articulates the pro-Nights viewpoint.

If You Click It, It Will Play

Looking For Other Interesting Writing on Resident Evil 6?

I Don’t Know About This Kickstarter Thing, But These Projects Seem Pretty Cool

Valve Just Launched Greenlight, So Here’s Some Games That Don’t Look Terrible

  • I'm still not sure if The Real Texas is any good, but it's super weird and definitely funny.
  • More independent developers should take the critique of pixel art to heart. College Ruled Universe does.
  • I'm a sucker for games with a great sense of motion, which appears to be the aim of The Last Phoenix.

And This Other Stuff, Too

Patrick Klepek on Google+
86 Comments
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Posted by dropabombonit

Great stories this week, thanks for linking to Spookin with Scoops. Missed out on it the other night

Posted by Sweep

These are my favourite articles on Giant Bomb. Keep it up, Pat!

Moderator
Posted by crisping

So about Spookin' with Scoops...please don't take this the wrong way, but the framerate in your test run was basically unwatchable, and for something that's going to be behind a paywall I'd expect at least Youtube Let's Play levels of technical stability. Maybe that's a problem with streaming from the same machine your playing on and that machine being a Mac, I don't know, but Slender isn't Crysis.

Posted by Benny

@Dezztroy said:

@Dozeworthy said:

@Mr_Misery said:

Uncharted 2 article:

Guns are violent but swords are not. That is stupid logic and bad parenting.

Last I checked society wasn't plagued by sword violence.

No, but it's definitely plagued by knife/other bladed object violence. And knives(or well, daggers) are a major part of sword-fighting.

I read that too, and I just have to ask, do they not let their kid watch indiana jones or a bond movie? Pretty much my childhood right there.

Posted by HeghmohQib

That Punch Out book was really neat. I totally would have bought that at a reasonable price.

Posted by Rmack

@Neurotic said:

That defence of Nights is something you'd see from a blog post here or on another forum. It's knee-jerk and belittles people who don't like the game or are indifferent to it, assuming they are so because they're stupid and can't understand it. The phrase 'That's a bunch of horseshit' in reference to people's opinions on the game told me all I needed to know about the rest of the article. The fact that he didn't read a review because it used a mild turn of phrase such as 'the game doesn't hold up well' also speaks volumes.

Well put.

Posted by Curufinwe
Posted by ShaggE

Just watched the Spookin' test, and it's exactly what I had hoped for (minus the technical issues, of course). I'll have to get my membership going again in time for its premier.

I was pleased to hear that Patrick's horror game commentary is a lot like mine: top of the head, self-calming rambling mixed with sudden cursing and trailing off when the nerves start getting shot. I'd love to talk horror with him one day, as we seem to be of the same mind about it.

Posted by totheteeth

No one can ever defend what Nights has done.

Posted by chilipeppersman

@MooseyMcMan: ya that was pretty great. I hope it does good too, I loved the demo!

Posted by Manhattan_Project

Its hilarious that the indie game video is full of people saying how different the process is and how unique they are and then half the games they show are 2d platformers, most of them with pixel art. And Leigh Alexander saying that when unique things happen in games its indie games that produce them... yeah I guess stuff like Bioshock really wasn't that unique.

In any medium, most of the content is average crap that can be completely ignored, indie games are no different. For every Bastion there are dozens of generic 2d platformers and for every Bioshock there are dozens of CoD clones. All that video does is make me hate the indie game community.

Posted by Lurkero

@Manhattan_Project: Yeah, they were definitely overselling the indie concept. There are some neat concepts that come from indie games, but its not like high production games are completely devoid of innovation.

Posted by CajunJacob

love these

Posted by Dagbiker

I really like 's very candied talks about what he's thinking, and what's happening every week.

Also that video with Jake Soloman pretty accurately represents the Maryland video game store crowed.

Edited by Trilogy

Hey Patrick. I think you and Jeff should have a one on one about Nights. I think it's hilarious how Jeff craps all over it but as someone without any opinion of the game, I'd love to hear from two people who have opposite views on it. I'd like to know how much Jeff actually doesn't like it and how much of his hatred is for comedic affect. It would also be nice to hear what you like about it because I tried reading the Cristian Nutt article but it came off as too defensive. Also, I can't wait to watch your test video. I'll have to re up my subscription to see it when you start the series next week.

Edited by fisk0

@Manhattan_Project said:

Its hilarious that the indie game video is full of people saying how different the process is and how unique they are and then half the games they show are 2d platformers, most of them with pixel art. And Leigh Alexander saying that when unique things happen in games its indie games that produce them... yeah I guess stuff like Bioshock really wasn't that unique.

In any medium, most of the content is average crap that can be completely ignored, indie games are no different. For every Bastion there are dozens of generic 2d platformers and for every Bioshock there are dozens of CoD clones. All that video does is make me hate the indie game community.

While I do see what you mean, gameplay wise Bioshock wasn't all that revolutionary either, it was the spiritual successor to System Shock, and played a lot like those two games, but generally much closer to a traditional FPS than the System Shock games were, with their heavy focus on inventory management, item puzzles and research. Where both Bioshock and many indie games shine is in setting, themes and narrative, not necessarily gameplay. That said, there are a lot of indie games that experiment with gameplay as well.

Posted by Luronzo

I never played "Nights" and according to Jeff its a good thing :)

Edited by fisk0

As for the Killzone chat video. I do love the virtual keyboard there, but it wasn't actually a Killzone specific feature, most PS2 games with online multiplayer used that (at least Champions of Norrath and Battlefield 2: Modern Combat), as well as the Network configuration program (which for some reason wasn't built into the PS2 OS, even in the later PS2 Slims where the network adapter was built in, you needed to have Netplay capable games, where the program was often included on the disc). Seems like that was part of the PS2 netplay SDK or something. Pretty weird that they went with a much clunkier keyboard on the PS3.

Posted by Peanut

Jenn Frank always ends up writing (or saying) something that moves me in really strange ways and I love that. There's definitely no one out there writing the way she does about games.

Posted by Manhattan_Project

@fisk0 said:

@Manhattan_Project said:

Its hilarious that the indie game video is full of people saying how different the process is and how unique they are and then half the games they show are 2d platformers, most of them with pixel art. And Leigh Alexander saying that when unique things happen in games its indie games that produce them... yeah I guess stuff like Bioshock really wasn't that unique.

In any medium, most of the content is average crap that can be completely ignored, indie games are no different. For every Bastion there are dozens of generic 2d platformers and for every Bioshock there are dozens of CoD clones. All that video does is make me hate the indie game community.

While I do see what you mean, gameplay wise Bioshock wasn't all that revolutionary either, it was the spiritual successor to System Shock, and played a lot like those two games, but generally much closer to a traditional FPS than the System Shock games were, with their heavy focus on inventory management, item puzzles and research. Where both Bioshock and many indie games shine is in setting, themes and narrative, not necessarily gameplay. That said, there are a lot of indie games that experiment with gameplay as well.

Many? I would'nt say that. Just because we don't hear about the average ones like we do AAA games doesn't mean they aren't there.

Point is that it doesn't matter whether its indie or big budget, what matters is the people behind the game.

Posted by fisk0

Oh damn, I missed that System Shock 2 music link. The System Shock 2 soundtrack may be the greatest video game soundtrack composed so far, hearing the original multitrack mixes instead of the 22khz versions that got included in the game is fantastic, and the gear list was pretty interesting.

Posted by fisk0

@Manhattan_Project said:

@fisk0 said:

@Manhattan_Project said:

Its hilarious that the indie game video is full of people saying how different the process is and how unique they are and then half the games they show are 2d platformers, most of them with pixel art. And Leigh Alexander saying that when unique things happen in games its indie games that produce them... yeah I guess stuff like Bioshock really wasn't that unique.

In any medium, most of the content is average crap that can be completely ignored, indie games are no different. For every Bastion there are dozens of generic 2d platformers and for every Bioshock there are dozens of CoD clones. All that video does is make me hate the indie game community.

While I do see what you mean, gameplay wise Bioshock wasn't all that revolutionary either, it was the spiritual successor to System Shock, and played a lot like those two games, but generally much closer to a traditional FPS than the System Shock games were, with their heavy focus on inventory management, item puzzles and research. Where both Bioshock and many indie games shine is in setting, themes and narrative, not necessarily gameplay. That said, there are a lot of indie games that experiment with gameplay as well.

Many? I would'nt say that. Just because we don't hear about the average ones like we do AAA games doesn't mean they aren't there.

Point is that it doesn't matter whether its indie or big budget, what matters is the people behind the game.

Even if the majority of all indie games are crap, I'd still say there are many indie games doing interesting things. And it's not exactly like the majority of AAA or B level games are best represented by Bioshock, Deus Ex or System Shock 2 either. Just like in the indie scene, the majority of all games are dumb, formulaic imitations of earlier and generally better games. Still, the sheer amount of games in existence today still allows there to be many good, interesting or even great games, even when the majority of it is all shit.

Posted by Deusx

@Manhattan_Project said:

Its hilarious that the indie game video is full of people saying how different the process is and how unique they are and then half the games they show are 2d platformers, most of them with pixel art. And Leigh Alexander saying that when unique things happen in games its indie games that produce them... yeah I guess stuff like Bioshock really wasn't that unique.

In any medium, most of the content is average crap that can be completely ignored, indie games are no different. For every Bastion there are dozens of generic 2d platformers and for every Bioshock there are dozens of CoD clones. All that video does is make me hate the indie game community.

Neither the indies nor the big budget games have innovation if the games they are doing aren't based on a good concept. Independent developers have a chance of making stuff different from the big companies out there, that's a fact. They don't follow certain rules thus creating a more creative environment for their work. I don't think that's true for every game though. There are shitty indie games as well as really fucking good big budget productions.

I think that video is a bit pretentious but you have to agree indie devs can make some really damn impressive stuff from time to time. That said, calling yourself an INDIE DEV is fucking dumb. Why not just calling themselves designers? or developers? What difference does it make if you work for a big company or not? Let the game speak for itself.

Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG

Thank you Patrick, this will keep me pretty busy during the (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend!

Posted by Slab64
Posted by Ronald

Too bad we missed the scariest part of Spookin' With Scoops, which is when Katie finds the mess on the couch.

Posted by bmeason

Gametrekking was an amazing read and introspective, Thank you for the heads up, the world needs more Jordans. ;)

Posted by OriginalGman

Reading a lot of the stuff Patrick links to makes me realize that there are a ton of people writing about video games today, many of them are crazy, and I'm glad I decided not to try to break into the field.

Posted by PurplePartyRobot

How desperate does somebody have to be in order to use somebody else's gaming habits as part of a smear campaign? I have no idea what's worse; that, or the fact that people in our society are actually going to to take a look at that and say " I will not vote for her not because of her ideals on certain topics, but because she like to play as a murderer in those video games!". Fucking society.

Posted by Jigenese

Thanks so much about the article on Gametrekking. I have really enjoyed this. It covers all three of my loves; Asia, Video Games, and trekking. Big thanks to Patrick for his thorough work!!!

Posted by daregoat

good read

Edited by cbarnes86

"...it’s going to be me playing scary video games in the dark and screaming like a girl, but that’s not what it always has to be..." : Don't forget spilling your drink of choice all over the place!

Also,

Posted by ArbitraryWater

@kidman said:

Fun fact: that Kameo for original Xbox is now floating around the internet. It's a bit buggy from what I've heard, but appears to be almost complete (just buggy).

That's pretty interesting. You don't see that kind of leak happening very often, other than the well-known examples of Star Fox 2 and Thrill Kill. (also the PS1 version of Baldur's Gate, which I have played. It's not very good)

Posted by YummyTreeSap

@zeekthegeek said:

The Earthworm Jim artist Doug Tennapel is kind of a shitheel. He turned his previously funny comic in to a really awful homophobic political platform and started a flamewar with his fans last year. Really distasteful, cruel man who doesn't give a fuck about his audience. Buyer beware

Yeah, coming to the realization that he's an enormous piece of shit a few years ago was such a travesty for me. The Neverhood and Earthworm Jim to a lesser extent are some of my favorite games ever. It's actually ruined the games for me. Here's a pretty good example of his writing:

We all pretty much know that most Democrats can't be trusted and that's reflected in this marriage poll. It's not that Democrat women are ugly, because we've seen too many cute ones out there. The men aren't hideous either, unless you think a soft, effeminate man hen-pecked his whole life by his domineering mother is hideous. The main reason people don't get married is out of a fear of divorce-- a fear of a breaking of vows. And Democrats talk with their feet when it comes to making commitments with those who philosophically have no grounding to keep any commitment. Did Obama shut down Gitmo? Will he get health reform finished before August recess? Is he going to cut taxes for most Americans?

I go to dinner with a bunch of Hollywood Republicans every month or so and I'll tell you one thing, the women are easy on the eyes, none more conservative or good looking than my Beloved. Republican women are happy, they don't mope around like victims or screech about how terrible men are for being men. The men at these get-togethers are happier and generally sport less hair product. Married men are polled to have more sex and more satisfying sex than singles so Republican men have another great quality over their unmarried Democrat counterparts.

Misogyny not good enough for you? How about some nearly-extremist nationalism?

Individual countries pale compared to America. So contrast my relative shame as a global citizen with my pride, excitement and honor of being a member of the United States of America. Our country is the best. I'd say that we're not perfect, but I hate opening any kind of door for the America haters to drive their Prius through.
[...]
So it pains me to watch my President stand among the G20 leaders as he works hard to fit in with a bunch of really stupid countries.

There was an article referring to Obama as 'Chairman President' and a post with that fucking Coexist parody and a lot of gay-bashing and all kinds of great stuff like that.

I mean, feel free to separate the man from his art if you can, but I just can't. He's just such a goddamned fucking turd. It's pretty heartbreaking, really.

Posted by WanderingNewbie

MAN, that Punch-Out!! Kickstarter Book looks awesome... I really wanna see how that turns out.

Posted by Rutmeister

I'm with Jeff, Nights is not a terribly good game.