These words are literally (literally!) being written during our last-minute planning for Game of the Year video shoots, which is why the introduction is shorter than usual, and, hey, there’s less content.
It’s totally going to be worth it, though. At least, I think so. I have no idea how it’s going to turn out, and I’m won’t tell you what we’re up to, but if you’ve been closely following Jeff’s Twitter feed, you know that we’re actually producing proper scripts. Scripts? Proper?
You should be...excited?
My own weekend will be mostly spent on the couch (you know, highly unusual) busting through as many games on my 2012 backlog as possible. With 999’s “True Ending” in sight, I’ll finally get some time with the much hyped Virtue’s Last Reward, and Vinny convinced me to pop in Binary Domain. Maybe I’ll a few hours with FTL, but other than that, I’ve just about run out of time to play new games. Aww.
Hey, You Should Play This
There is nothing secretive or deceptive or transcendent about Ice Break. Honestly, it’s just a fun little browser game with an inventive ice mechanic that will surprise you at least once during the game’s just-long-enough 10 levels. Also, we’re swamped with preparation for Game of the Year awards, which means I’m constantly looking for tiny distractions when I’m too scared to cut yet another great game from my personal top ten list. Stuff like Ice Break does a good job of keeping the tears at bay when an amazing game like Hotline Miami is teetering on the edge.
- Afterward by Thomas Szmidt (Browser / Free) -- afterward-story.tumblr.com
You tell me you’ve built a game about a person wandering around a mysterious island, conjuring nostalgic feelings about LOST, and you’ve got my attention for, at least, five minutes. Afterward is similar to last week’s The Message, in that your primary task is reading a bunch of text, choosing which path to follow, and then looping back to the beginning and seeing how else it could have played out. Knowing that is how people interact with games like this, Afterward takes this into account in a really interesting way. Afterward comes from a Giant Bomb user, but I can’t seen to find the message where the link came from, so if you read this, make sure and send over your username!
And You Should Read This, Too
Rockstar Games usually keeps its mouth shut, but with Grand Theft Auto V arriving next year, the company is opening up for a little bit. Edge sat down with Sam Houser about the development of GTA: Vice City, which was the last GTA game I played before jumping back into the fray again with GTA IV. I never even finished a GTA game until GTA IV, mostly because my time in a GTA game was always spent blowing shit up. It’s interesting reading Houser break down how influential Hollywood productions were on Vice City, even if the games makes that awfully apparent.
“But the thing that was more of a direct influence was Miami Vice, because it’s a little bit later. Scarface is earlier, like ’83, and it kind of looks it, but Miami Vice was ’84 to ’89, about five seasons, 110 or so episodes, and I’ve seen them all many times. Before you could get them on DVD I bought them off eBay – the crappiest quality VHS copies you’ve ever seen, and I have them all. What blew me away about that series – and Michael Mann is, I think, a visionary film maker – is that each episode was 50 minutes long, and they sort of hit on all the bases in every episode. It was very adult – I remember at the time watching it and thinking that it was very risqué. But it was an incredibly slick show, and when we were first talking about it, everyone was kind of laughing, like: “What are you on about?” And I was like, “No, no, no – it’s so slick”. Just in terms of music alone, when you look at the tracks that Miami Vice used, it’s an amazing list, and Michael Mann would create these miniature pop videos in every show which would be montages. So his use of music in the show was remarkable. A dream of mine and Dan [Houser]’s is to have a montage in a game, actually. We’re on our way; we’ll get it one day – a montage of your experiences set to music. Come on, that’s going to be amazing, right?”
If You Click It, It Will Play
I Don’t Know About This Kickstarter Thing, But These Projects Seem Pretty Cool
- War for the Overworld wants to make sure we don't forget amazing games like Dungeon Keeper.
- Dream was a nifty lookin' first-person adventure game on Greenlight, and now it's on Kickstarter.
- What the hell, guys? How come Bill Nye isn't having more success? Give him your money!
Valve Just Launched Greenlight, So Here’s Some Games That Don’t Look Terrible
- Kentucky Route Zero will be one of the most talked about games after this year's IGF Awards.
- Against the Wall was featured in a previous Worth Reading, but now it's going for it on Greenlight.
- Sokobond is another IGF entrant. It won't blow your mind, but it's a hell of a good puzzler.
Oh, And This Other Stuff
- Well, that's one way to write about your experiences in XCOM.
- The most unconventional and completely appropriate critique of Wii U.
- An exhaustive list of excellent video games that wouldn't exist without women.
- What happened when writer Daniel Starkey modeled Commander Shepard around his mother.
- An examination of what it means when a video game claims it's being "authentic."
- The Path is about as unconventional a game as they come. Can't wait for the next from Tale of Tales.
- An utterly bizarre interview with Nintendo of Canada about the Wii Mini.
- I do not play Harvest Moon games, but I do read Tumblr blogs about Harvest Moon experiences.
- Far Cry 3's rape scene has been largely overlooked, which the game does a good job of, too.
- Rather than spoilery hands-on impressions, read up on Ken Levine's ambitions with BioShock: Infinite.
- Mark of the Ninja designer Nels Anderson has a new column at Unwinnable. Read it.