Posted by patrickklepek (4127 posts) -

I've now realized why most of Giant Bomb's content isn't on a strict schedule: people expect, rightly, for you to stick to that schedule.

The Molyjam experience is still processing. We haven't done much coverage of the event because that wasn't the plan. Giant Bomb, thanks to CBS, had access to resources that could facilitate the game jam, and because I've been looking for new ways to engage with San Francisco's development community, it was a good fit.

In any case, we'll be checking out some of the games soon, and I'm spending time thinking about how we can plan similar events that involve the Giant Bomb community within the Bay Area. Hmm.

I'm writing this on the plane to PAX East in Boston, where most of my time will be spent talking with folks like you. I missed PAX East last year, and while getting up at five in the morning wasn't how I wanted to spend my Thursday, it's gonna be a blast.

If you're there, please say hi.

Hey, You Should Play This:

Part of the reason I co-organized the Molyjam was to get a better understanding of game jams. There was some confusion in the comments of my story earlier this week, which is understandable. Not every Molyjam game is worth playing, but all of them have interesting stories behind their creation, and a few of them are truly remarkable. Breaktris is one of them, in which the team looked at this ridiculous tweet from Peter Molydeux: "Imagine being able to launch a missile in Battlefield and have it hit your online friend's car in say Burnout Paradise? This is the future." Realizing exactly that would be far too ambitious for 48 hours, but in the same vein? That could happen. What the team presented on Sunday night was a combination of Tetris and Breakout, in which the lines cleared in Tetris produce blocks in Breakout, and the ball from Breakout can wreck havoc on the other player's Tetris game.

Also, You Should Read These:

I wasn't making a game during the Molyjam, so there were long stretches where I had…time on my hands. Much of that time was spent catching up in archived Instapaper articles (if you don't have that for your phone and computer, fix that), and one of them was Tom Bissell's excellent look at the development of Madden. Interestingly, Bissell isn't much of a football fan himself, and instead focuses on the stories of the people who, year after year, build yet another Madden game. There's fascinating insight into the team's struggles with pleasing multiple audiences, the role of John Madden these days, and what considerations are being made for the future of the franchise. Even if you don't play Madden NFL (hell, I don't), it's very much worth reading. Ugh, I just said that. Sorry.

Another one from the archives is former Kill Screen editor Chris Dahlen's lengthy essay on Dark Souls. This is required reading if, like me, you could do nothing but shake your head at the people crazy enough to spend hours playing From Software's punishing dungeon crawler when Demon Souls was originally released. Granted, I actually did spend a few hours with Dark Souls, and enjoyed my time with it. I played long enough for the appeal to become apparent, but I never grasped what about that experience made some sink so damn deep. Dahlen does an excellent job of articulating the appeal of Dark Souls, and how certain, deliberate design decisions on the part of From Software make it such a fulfilling dare of a video game.

Staff
#1 Posted by patrickklepek (4127 posts) -

I've now realized why most of Giant Bomb's content isn't on a strict schedule: people expect, rightly, for you to stick to that schedule.

The Molyjam experience is still processing. We haven't done much coverage of the event because that wasn't the plan. Giant Bomb, thanks to CBS, had access to resources that could facilitate the game jam, and because I've been looking for new ways to engage with San Francisco's development community, it was a good fit.

In any case, we'll be checking out some of the games soon, and I'm spending time thinking about how we can plan similar events that involve the Giant Bomb community within the Bay Area. Hmm.

I'm writing this on the plane to PAX East in Boston, where most of my time will be spent talking with folks like you. I missed PAX East last year, and while getting up at five in the morning wasn't how I wanted to spend my Thursday, it's gonna be a blast.

If you're there, please say hi.

Hey, You Should Play This:

Part of the reason I co-organized the Molyjam was to get a better understanding of game jams. There was some confusion in the comments of my story earlier this week, which is understandable. Not every Molyjam game is worth playing, but all of them have interesting stories behind their creation, and a few of them are truly remarkable. Breaktris is one of them, in which the team looked at this ridiculous tweet from Peter Molydeux: "Imagine being able to launch a missile in Battlefield and have it hit your online friend's car in say Burnout Paradise? This is the future." Realizing exactly that would be far too ambitious for 48 hours, but in the same vein? That could happen. What the team presented on Sunday night was a combination of Tetris and Breakout, in which the lines cleared in Tetris produce blocks in Breakout, and the ball from Breakout can wreck havoc on the other player's Tetris game.

Also, You Should Read These:

I wasn't making a game during the Molyjam, so there were long stretches where I had…time on my hands. Much of that time was spent catching up in archived Instapaper articles (if you don't have that for your phone and computer, fix that), and one of them was Tom Bissell's excellent look at the development of Madden. Interestingly, Bissell isn't much of a football fan himself, and instead focuses on the stories of the people who, year after year, build yet another Madden game. There's fascinating insight into the team's struggles with pleasing multiple audiences, the role of John Madden these days, and what considerations are being made for the future of the franchise. Even if you don't play Madden NFL (hell, I don't), it's very much worth reading. Ugh, I just said that. Sorry.

Another one from the archives is former Kill Screen editor Chris Dahlen's lengthy essay on Dark Souls. This is required reading if, like me, you could do nothing but shake your head at the people crazy enough to spend hours playing From Software's punishing dungeon crawler when Demon Souls was originally released. Granted, I actually did spend a few hours with Dark Souls, and enjoyed my time with it. I played long enough for the appeal to become apparent, but I never grasped what about that experience made some sink so damn deep. Dahlen does an excellent job of articulating the appeal of Dark Souls, and how certain, deliberate design decisions on the part of From Software make it such a fulfilling dare of a video game.

Staff
#2 Posted by Chias (81 posts) -

Oh right, the Molyjam happened, I should check out some of those finished games.

#3 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10919 posts) -

Neat-o.

Moderator
#4 Posted by defcomm (346 posts) -

Okie doke boss

#5 Posted by jervo (12 posts) -

Tom Bissell is the best. THE BEST. If you haven't read his book "Extra Lives," fix that hole in your life immediately.

#6 Posted by James_Giant_Peach (751 posts) -

Thank you for this piece of content Patrick Klepek, may the sunny visage of our celestial maiden smile upon you this day.

#7 Posted by LarsHJ (35 posts) -

Thank you for the worth reading links. The dark souls article especially was really great and I hope you will continue to write posts highlighting great things to read elsewhere about games and everything surrounding them.

#8 Posted by csl316 (8471 posts) -

Cool.

I'll still continue to ignore the praise heaped on the Souls games. I love challenging stuff, but the first game felt so clunky and bland to me that I just couldn't be bothered to continue. And I beat the first area without dying, so I just assume the difficulty is overhyped (probably wrong on that count, but meh). Its dense atmosphere and boss creature design grew on me when I watched some guy beat both games in a handful of hours, but it just didn't look like something I'd be into.

Whatever floats your boat!

#9 Posted by LiquidSwords (2738 posts) -

Another great "Worth Reading" Patrick! Want to see more Molyjam games!

#10 Posted by HadesTimes (804 posts) -

Thanks Patrick, carry on dude.

#11 Posted by ABK_92 (176 posts) -

I've never found any of these "worth reading" articles worth reading.

#12 Posted by ryguy777 (14 posts) -

Thanks Patrick! Gratz on the Molyjam!

I thoroughly enjoyed Dark Souls & love reading what other people have to say about it (good or bad). Hope the PC port turns out to be an actual thing.

#13 Posted by cbarnes86 (556 posts) -

@ABK_92: Yet you clicked on Worth Reading to comment on how it wasn't worth reading

#14 Posted by ZmillA (2269 posts) -

That madden piece by Tom Bissell was great! That is some real game journalism, really fascinating stuff.

#15 Posted by dopplerganger (80 posts) -

Thanks trick. That dark souls essay was great and I can't wait to try breaktris.

#16 Posted by yyZiggurat (1015 posts) -

yeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, dark souls article!

#17 Posted by RPGee (759 posts) -

That book is fantastic, if maybe a little navel-gazing at the end. Legitimately interesting and unique, though, and one of my more respected video game books. I was wondering where the hell Bissell was on teh Internets, and I'm glad I found him. Many thanks, Trick.

#18 Posted by rjayb89 (7720 posts) -

Thanks, Trick Daddy.

Online
#19 Posted by Slumberpunch (109 posts) -

I need to get a Kickstarter going to fund a media blackout on Molyjam on this site.

#20 Posted by caseyg (36 posts) -

Thanks for linking the articles on Dark Souls. They were a great read.

#21 Posted by huntad (1931 posts) -

I like that you point out other writers' work on the site. Thanks a whole lot, Patrick!

#22 Posted by poheroe (154 posts) -

worth reading....word!

#23 Posted by TruthTellah (8826 posts) -

@csl316: I can understand how the series may not be your cup of tea, but I wouldn't question the claims of their high quality. Particularly Dark Souls. I agree that Demons' Souls was a tad clunky, but Dark Souls is a more polished game. They certainly aren't for everyone, but Dark Souls is especially good at being the game it set out to be. It messes with you in some amazing ways, and for those who can put up with near madness, I think it's a worthwhile experience.

And even if you don't enjoy the games, the linked article about one area of the game is a good read. It certainly conveys the point of Dark Souls well, and it says something about gaming.

#24 Posted by kon1312 (47 posts) -

I always enjoy these articles! They are really...worth reading! I really like your MolyJam parts - still promoting with a lot of dedication.

And hey - never heard of instapaper before ... just what I needed!

Thank you so much!

#25 Posted by dropabombonit (1490 posts) -

Trick with the hot scoops

#26 Posted by sthusby (382 posts) -

Can't really say I like this segment. It feels so unorganized. Maybe you should consider a new template, and write a little more about fewer topics. But hey, that's just my opinion.

#27 Posted by mortal_sb (527 posts) -

You all should read this:

Just One More Game ...Angry Birds, Farmville and Other Hyperaddictive ‘Stupid Games’

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/magazine/angry-birds-farmville-and-other-hyperaddictive-stupid-games.html

#28 Posted by Jayzilla (2560 posts) -

That Bissell article is really good. I read it a few weeks ago or so when it came out. Grantland happens to be one of my favorite sports and entertainment blogs. Their "Reality show fantasy team" style section is hilarious and so is Cousin Sal's prop bets blog.

#29 Edited by ludorverr (67 posts) -

I read that Dark Souls article a couple months ago. To a person who has beaten the game it doesn't really say anything that you don't already understand or feel.

I read it because it was about Sen's Fortress and with bonfires being so incredibly important in the game, hidden bonfires are bullshit. I suppose it could just be considered luck of the draw that I couldn't find it, but it makes me dislike that article which is full of nothing but praise of that particular area. I guess it's aimed at people who don't understand these games though, and I should be happy it's linked here on Giant Bomb.

Even with my complaining, Dark Souls is still my favourite game of all time. It makes you feel. Do other games make you feel? No, other games are trash. Haha.

#30 Posted by RuthLoose (807 posts) -

@Slumberpunch said:

I need to get a Kickstarter going to fund a media blackout on Molyjam on this site.

Is your Kickstarter going to be an attempt to raise $100,000 to hire an assassin to kill Patrick or is this just another post whining about an event that is barely even a week out at this point?

#31 Posted by jakkblades (403 posts) -

@jervo said:

Tom Bissell is the best. THE BEST. If you haven't read his book "Extra Lives," fix that hole in your life immediately.

I second this. His conversation on addiction, video gaming, and the writing life all tied into one blew my mind with its relevance and power. Heck of a writer.

#32 Posted by claudius (185 posts) -

@RuthLoose said:

@Slumberpunch said:

I need to get a Kickstarter going to fund a media blackout on Molyjam on this site.

Is your Kickstarter going to be an attempt to raise $100,000 to hire an assassin to kill Patrick or is this just another post whining about an event that is barely even a week out at this point?

But dude, there's been like 2 other articles about it and they talked about it for like 15 minutes on the bombcast. I am outraged by it constantly being shoved in my face!

#33 Posted by golguin (3892 posts) -

We need more articles about Dark Souls. Is the next Breaking Bad going to be a run of Dark Souls?

#34 Posted by Kieran_Smith5 (141 posts) -

I really enjoyed the Dark Souls piece, thanks Patrick!

#35 Posted by JackG100 (405 posts) -

Dark Soulsis awesome. I wouldnt call it particulary hard though. There are some places that are challenging, for a variety of reasons. But if you play it online and use the summoning and multiplayer parts well it's usually a cakewalk until some twinked asshole comes in and rob you of your hard earned humanity. :D

Online
#36 Posted by gabrielmanning (1 posts) -

It is worth reading

#37 Posted by shodan2020 (664 posts) -

That Dark Souls article was pretty amazing. I've been stymied by Ornstein and Smough for a few months (but I haven't really been putting in the effort lately). Sen's Fortress is really rough, but an amazing level to work your way through. Once you know where the traps are, it's immensely satisfying to turn them on the goddamn serpent-headed enemies that populate the fortress.

#38 Edited by bkbroiler (1621 posts) -

Really great Dark Souls article. I just want to add that another thing I love about that game is the vulnerability you feel at all times when you're out and about in a brand new area, far from your bonfire and unsure what you'll encounter next. It's a feeling that is ruined by multiple playthroughs, but is something you rarely get in a video game. What a great game.

I went back and listened to some of the GOTY podcasts again, and I really wish Vinny had done a better job arguing for Dark Souls. I kind of get the feeling that fighting for games to get on the top 10 isn't important to him, but I wish he had said a bit more about Dark Souls than he did. I know Jeff is a provocateur, but I'd like to hear someone explain to him what really makes that game great. Oh, and that the combat is terrific, not terrible.

#39 Posted by stewmull (60 posts) -

stoked so many games came out of this :D

#40 Posted by Peetabix (54 posts) -

@jervo: Just read the first few pages on Amazon then added it to my Wish list so i wont forget to buy it. Thanks for the recommendation.

#41 Posted by jervo (12 posts) -

@Peetabix: No problem. Tom Bissell has also done excellent work at Grantland, more than just the Madden piece Patrick linked to - this review/essay about L.A. Noire is particularly inspired.