As I write this, it’s Wednesday, and I’m in the San Francisco office again. Most of us are trying to spend a few minutes with games we haven’t had time for, as we prepare to begin the annual Game of the Year deliberation podcasts. Right now, Vinny’s scratching his head over Device 6.
I’m done about all I can. There are games, such as Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, that would almost assuredly be on my personal list if I could spend more time with them. But for something as personal as a top ten list, I’m not about to assume a game is going to be great from start to finish, especially since there are so many other games that have proven that already to me.
This means State of Decay, a game I would probably also like quite a bit, cannot show up on my list. It’s not that I think beating a game is a requirement for loving it, but a game like Assassin’s Creed takes place over dozens and dozens of hours. At the very least, I shall fight for the sea shantys!
Now, for a few more matches of Samurai Gunn...
Hey, You Should Play This
And You Should Read These, Too
After covering FREEQ, a game that went out of it way to make its design more inclusive for the blind, I’ve become curious about other ways games do and don’t allow those with specific disabilities to play. Patrick Lindsey has a great profile of fighting game player Mike Begum, someone we wouldn’t traditionally think of being able to participate in the competitive scene. Yet Begum, born with a congentital condition called arthrogryposis, has found a way to remain a part of the scene. Lindsey also does a good job explaining what one company, Able Gamers, is doing to change perceptions in the games industry.
“In August, AbleGamers launched the AbleGamers Lab outside of Washington, D.C. The lab works with individual gamers on a by-appointment basis, providing each player with access to ‘cutting-edge assistive technology’ in order to assess and accommodate each gamer’s needs. ‘We would like to have these laboratories and arcades available throughout the country, and eventually the world,’ explains Steve. ‘Our long-term goal is to be able to find more permanent funding…we would like to be able to give anyone who comes to our laboratories the equipment on the same day they visit, much like assistant technology centers do for wheelchair users and those with other mobility impairments.’”
Though I agree with Chris Kohler’s assessment of Nintendo’s situation with Wii U from last week, I’ve always been someone who refuses to count Nintendo out. Nintendo is not Sega, and I don’t expect Nintendo will be throwing in the hardware towel anytime soon. If anything, Nintendo will go down with the ship, and it will be a ship of its own making. Nintendo, like Apple, is a hardware and software company, and to pretend otherwise is crazy. Plus, everyone writes Nintendo off. It’s cyclical. But the company always comes up with something, and though it might not happen again, there’s also every reason to think it will. The company may be a frustrating giant, but it's a patient one, too.
“As a consequence of these things, Nintendo can continue to act and think like a toy company--a huge installed base is desirable, of course, because it makes the firm more profitable, but a smaller yet still profitable installed base is also fine. If Microsoft fails to get Xbox One into a huge number of households, it'll be a major problem, since part of the reason for the system's existence is to extend Microsoft's dominance in the living room; if Sony can't sell tens of millions of PS4 units pretty rapidly, that'll also be a problem, since Sony (like Microsoft) relies heavily on third-party publishers supporting its console, and they won't develop games for a system without a large addressable market. Yet Nintendo cares little about either of those factors, and could be reasonably satisfied with a "third-place finish" that still makes a handsome profit for the firm.”
If You Click It, It Will Play
Like it or Not, Crowdfunding Isn't Going Away
- Lore is a game that, tragically, was unable to find the funding to bring its ideas to life.
- Echochamber uses multiple mobile phones to generate a positional audio party game.
- Read Only Memories looks like a bad ass tribute to old cyberpunk adventure games.
Tweets That Make You Go "Hmmmmmm"
why I like heavy procedurality in games: kills gamers' obsession w/ lore and realism, ludonarrative dissonance is expected and celebrated— Robert Yang (@radiatoryang) December 9, 2013
like a procedurally generated text doesn't have to cohere, and a Spelunky level doesn't have to be a "real cave", we know it's procedural— Robert Yang (@radiatoryang) December 9, 2013
what I'm wondering: what if I make small short narrative-based procedural sandbox games? resource accumulation bores me after a while— Robert Yang (@radiatoryang) December 9, 2013
Some Great Features Celebrating DOOM's 20th Anniversary
- Chris Kohler has an extensive Q&A with John Carmack about DOOM's development.
- Stephen Totilo spoke with both Carmack and John Romero about their favorite memories.
- On Facebook, Romero posted old awesome DOOM concept art and production photos.
- Ryan McCaffrey actually played DOOM co-op with Romero earlier this week, too.
You know, Here's Samurai Gunn Steam Codes
Oh, And This Other Stuff
- Dustin Anglin argues we should be saying the term roguelike more often.
- Paul Heck talks with Imscared developer Ivan Zanotti about his crazy works of horror.
- Daniel Gross examines the ethics of the seemingly friendly Pokemon universe.
- Simon Parkin talks about how we need to push back what the term "gamer" implies.
- The Last Door's developers explain how it's tried to make the game more accessible.
- Positech tried to buy advertising on a big games site for Democracy 3 and was denied.
- Mark Mazzetti shows how the NSA has been trying to monitor terrorism through video games.
- Gamasutra speaks to LucasArts designer Noah Falstein about the early days of the developer.
- Jennifer Levitz profiles how the industry is pushing back on new games legislation.
- Sidney Fussell tries to break down the complicated questions about race and video games.
- Drew Toal says the other characters in Halo: Reach are much more interesting than Chief.