Skulls of the Shogun Betting Big on Microsoft's Future

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Posted by patrickklepek (4604 posts) -

Microsoft’s Surface tablet was mighty impressive looking piece of hardware at its unveiling this week, but when the presentation finished, not only was it lacking a price or release date, but where were the games?

A few moments after the event, however, 17-Bit founder Jake Kazdal got everyone jazzed by announcing the studio’s long-delayed strategy game, Skulls of the Shogun, would also be available for Surface.

(17-Bit used to be Haunted Temple Studios, by the way. That changed a few months ago.)

Microsoft's Surface so far seems like a much more capable laptop in the shape of a tablet.

When 17-Bit signed with Microsoft, it was only for console and PC versions of Skulls of the Shogun. Mobile and tablet versions were not in the cards, but became part of the plan as development progressed, development that has stretched years more than Kazdal expected. He anticipated being on project #2 by now.

“We really wanted to make the game a success,”said Kazdal, “and we wanted to go big, and arguably bit off way fucking more than we ever should have.”

The core of Skulls of the Shogun was created by three developers, including Kazdal. That’s expanded into five full-time employees. How to splinter the game onto other platforms while also finishing the game itself happened organically.

By “organic,” of course, I mean there wasn’t much of a plan. The team has made it work with long hours for months.

“I’ve been working 10, 15 hour days for as long as I can remember,” he said with a mixture of laughter, excitement, and exhaustion, “and I keep telling my wife ‘Oh, we’ll be done in a couple months, and I'll start coming home and hanging out with you and the kids, don’t worry about it!’ And the months just go by and now, whenever I say that, she’s just like 'Shut up, I don’t believe you for a word.'" It’s just been a ton of extra work.”

That extra work has morphed into three distinct versions of the game coming to three different platforms: Xbox Live Arcade, Windows 8, Windows Phone. The tablet version that will also work for Surface (on both versions of the hardware) is an extension of the touch-enabled mobile version, while the XBLA edition has been basically done for a while. The once-flagship version for XBLA is mostly sitting idle while the other versions start to catch up.

The benefit, explained Kazdal, has been unprecedented polish.

“We’ve just been polishing and tuning and polishing and tuning,” he said. “We can, so we are. Most small indie guys, it’s the exact opposite--they’re freaking out, rushing to get stuff done in time, and they’re cutting corners and they’re taking sacrifices they didn’t want to. We haven’t had to do any of that.”

Kazdal was unable to comment on whether players will have to purchase all three versions of the game, or if purchasing one version will open up access to the other ones, ala Universal apps on iOS.

One also has to wonder about the "Skulls Anywhere" mode that was greyed out in the mobile version shown at PAX East. Hmm. (Warp to 1:23 to know what I'm talking about.)

It’s been frustrating for Kazdal to sit on Skulls of the Shogun for as long as he has, a game that’s been making the rounds at trade shows for going on years now. At this point, if I'm at a trade show, I know he is, too. It’s not uncommon for players to approach him at a venue like PAX East and be upset the game still isn’t out yet. A good problem to have, perhaps, but a feeling Kazdal knows all too well. He’s hoping the multi-prong approach will pay off.

“When a new hardware launches, there’s not a lot of stuff available,” he said. “There’s a bunch of interest. They’re going to have this awesome online store, and there’s not going to be much original content. We were in this position where we could be this cool indie title that’s been talked about, people are excited about it, and all of a sudden we’ve got this wide-open storefront--it made perfect sense.”

The benefit of having programmed and fine-tuned several interfaces for Skulls of the Shogun will greatly benefit the player in the end, though. When you’re playing on a Surface, you have the option of playing with a mouse and keyboard, touch controls, or plugging in an Xbox 360 controller via USB. Kazdal isn’t sure if it would be possible to mix-and-match the two, but he’s looking to it.

Still, getting there has been easier said than done. Making the decision to bring Skulls of the Shogun to another platform, despite its unified XNA code base, was easy. Once the game was up-and-running on that plarform, however, it was clear how much work had to be put into each one for 17-Bit to sign off on it.

Even if you aren't into strategy games, you may dig Skulls of the Shogun. It's like Advance Wars.

When asked if he could have ever imagined all this a few years ago, he shook his head. When I asked whether he could recommend this path to anyone considering independent, he emphatically said no.

It’s too late now, though.

“The gamble is that it actually all pays off, and there is a good chance that won’t happen,” he said. “Gimme another six months to see how things roll out, and then I’ll know if I want to go back in time and punch myself in the stomach or not.”

If the explosive response on Twitter to Skulls of the Shogun coming to Surface was any indication, there's an audience. If nobody buys a Surface, though, Kazdal has already covered his bases, and they'll be able to pick up and play the platform elsewhere.

“This is our first time out as independent, so we’re just riding this wild sea of adventure every day,” he said. “It’s like going to war every day. “

Staff
#1 Posted by patrickklepek (4604 posts) -

Microsoft’s Surface tablet was mighty impressive looking piece of hardware at its unveiling this week, but when the presentation finished, not only was it lacking a price or release date, but where were the games?

A few moments after the event, however, 17-Bit founder Jake Kazdal got everyone jazzed by announcing the studio’s long-delayed strategy game, Skulls of the Shogun, would also be available for Surface.

(17-Bit used to be Haunted Temple Studios, by the way. That changed a few months ago.)

Microsoft's Surface so far seems like a much more capable laptop in the shape of a tablet.

When 17-Bit signed with Microsoft, it was only for console and PC versions of Skulls of the Shogun. Mobile and tablet versions were not in the cards, but became part of the plan as development progressed, development that has stretched years more than Kazdal expected. He anticipated being on project #2 by now.

“We really wanted to make the game a success,”said Kazdal, “and we wanted to go big, and arguably bit off way fucking more than we ever should have.”

The core of Skulls of the Shogun was created by three developers, including Kazdal. That’s expanded into five full-time employees. How to splinter the game onto other platforms while also finishing the game itself happened organically.

By “organic,” of course, I mean there wasn’t much of a plan. The team has made it work with long hours for months.

“I’ve been working 10, 15 hour days for as long as I can remember,” he said with a mixture of laughter, excitement, and exhaustion, “and I keep telling my wife ‘Oh, we’ll be done in a couple months, and I'll start coming home and hanging out with you and the kids, don’t worry about it!’ And the months just go by and now, whenever I say that, she’s just like 'Shut up, I don’t believe you for a word.'" It’s just been a ton of extra work.”

That extra work has morphed into three distinct versions of the game coming to three different platforms: Xbox Live Arcade, Windows 8, Windows Phone. The tablet version that will also work for Surface (on both versions of the hardware) is an extension of the touch-enabled mobile version, while the XBLA edition has been basically done for a while. The once-flagship version for XBLA is mostly sitting idle while the other versions start to catch up.

The benefit, explained Kazdal, has been unprecedented polish.

“We’ve just been polishing and tuning and polishing and tuning,” he said. “We can, so we are. Most small indie guys, it’s the exact opposite--they’re freaking out, rushing to get stuff done in time, and they’re cutting corners and they’re taking sacrifices they didn’t want to. We haven’t had to do any of that.”

Kazdal was unable to comment on whether players will have to purchase all three versions of the game, or if purchasing one version will open up access to the other ones, ala Universal apps on iOS.

One also has to wonder about the "Skulls Anywhere" mode that was greyed out in the mobile version shown at PAX East. Hmm. (Warp to 1:23 to know what I'm talking about.)

It’s been frustrating for Kazdal to sit on Skulls of the Shogun for as long as he has, a game that’s been making the rounds at trade shows for going on years now. At this point, if I'm at a trade show, I know he is, too. It’s not uncommon for players to approach him at a venue like PAX East and be upset the game still isn’t out yet. A good problem to have, perhaps, but a feeling Kazdal knows all too well. He’s hoping the multi-prong approach will pay off.

“When a new hardware launches, there’s not a lot of stuff available,” he said. “There’s a bunch of interest. They’re going to have this awesome online store, and there’s not going to be much original content. We were in this position where we could be this cool indie title that’s been talked about, people are excited about it, and all of a sudden we’ve got this wide-open storefront--it made perfect sense.”

The benefit of having programmed and fine-tuned several interfaces for Skulls of the Shogun will greatly benefit the player in the end, though. When you’re playing on a Surface, you have the option of playing with a mouse and keyboard, touch controls, or plugging in an Xbox 360 controller via USB. Kazdal isn’t sure if it would be possible to mix-and-match the two, but he’s looking to it.

Still, getting there has been easier said than done. Making the decision to bring Skulls of the Shogun to another platform, despite its unified XNA code base, was easy. Once the game was up-and-running on that plarform, however, it was clear how much work had to be put into each one for 17-Bit to sign off on it.

Even if you aren't into strategy games, you may dig Skulls of the Shogun. It's like Advance Wars.

When asked if he could have ever imagined all this a few years ago, he shook his head. When I asked whether he could recommend this path to anyone considering independent, he emphatically said no.

It’s too late now, though.

“The gamble is that it actually all pays off, and there is a good chance that won’t happen,” he said. “Gimme another six months to see how things roll out, and then I’ll know if I want to go back in time and punch myself in the stomach or not.”

If the explosive response on Twitter to Skulls of the Shogun coming to Surface was any indication, there's an audience. If nobody buys a Surface, though, Kazdal has already covered his bases, and they'll be able to pick up and play the platform elsewhere.

“This is our first time out as independent, so we’re just riding this wild sea of adventure every day,” he said. “It’s like going to war every day. “

Staff
#2 Edited by gerp (193 posts) -

Good stuff

#3 Posted by thomasnash (556 posts) -

"there's an audience audience"

#4 Edited by crusader8463 (14422 posts) -

Such a shame it's only on Windows 8. I was looking forward to this game for some time. Oh well. One less game to buy now.

#5 Posted by AnotherSomebody (154 posts) -

@crusader8463 said:

Such a shame. I was looking forward to this game for some time. Oh well. One less game to buy now.

Ditto.

#6 Posted by Praise_the_sun (74 posts) -
@crusader8463 Wait, what?
#7 Posted by Dohers (31 posts) -

@crusader8463: It's on XBLA and Windows Phone as well

#8 Posted by DeF (4888 posts) -

@AnotherSomebody said:

@crusader8463 said:

Such a shame. I was looking forward to this game for some time. Oh well. One less game to buy now.

Ditto.

I don't get it. It's still coming to XBLA. What has changed that makes you not wanna buy it anymore?!

Also: typo galore! I thought you guys proof-read each other's articles before they go up. At least read it once :)

@thomasnash said:

"there's an audience audience"

"play the platform elsewhere"

"One also has to wonde about the "Skulls Anywhere" mode"

^^

#9 Posted by Noizemaze (16 posts) -

@crusader8463 said:

Such a shame it's only on Windows 8. I was looking forward to this game for some time. Oh well. One less game to buy now.

"That extra work has morphed into three distinct versions of the game coming to three different platforms: Xbox Live Arcade, Windows 8, Windows Mobile."

#10 Posted by KillerPidgeon (62 posts) -

Hate to be the typo police but:

"One also has to wonde about the "Skulls Anywhere" mode"

#11 Posted by Bartz (87 posts) -

@DeF said:

Also: typo galore! I thought you guys proof-read each other's articles before they go up. At least read it once :)

It's a Patrick article. Typos are the status quo.

#12 Posted by Bollard (5550 posts) -

@thomasnash said:

"there's an audience audience"

Is there really now? Proof reading and Klepek don't meet once again!

But good article anyways.

#13 Posted by crusader8463 (14422 posts) -

@Dohers: @DeF: @Noizemaze: It's only on Windows 8. You can't play it on any other version of windows. I don't want to play the game anywhere but PC, and Microsoft is now paying developers to lock PC games behind being Windows 8 only to try and force people to upgrade to that abomination of a new OS; of which I want no part of. I have seen no reason to go past Windows 7 from what I have seen of 8, and dick moves like trying to lock games away like this make me want the OS even less.

#14 Posted by DeF (4888 posts) -

@crusader8463 said:

@Dohers: @DeF: @Noizemaze: It's only on Windows 8. You can't play it on any other version of windows. I don't want to play the game anywhere but PC, and Microsoft is now paying developers to lock PC games behind being Windows 8 only to try and force people to upgrade to that abomination of a new OS; of which I want no part of. I have seen no reason to go past Windows 7 from what I have seen of 8, and dick moves like trying to lock games away like this make me want the OS even less.

if you're going for PC only then okay, that makes sense and I agree that the pointless Windows 8 push sucks

#15 Posted by Getz (3012 posts) -

OMG Patrick made some typos, and I'm the only one who noticed. Here, have a list of them because you probably didn't notice them at all!

#16 Posted by FateOfNever (1839 posts) -

Really I'm just surprised to hear that this is even still a game.

Also, Windows 8 only for the PC? Really? REALLY? That seems kind of like a real bad decision to lock a game down to only the most recent version of windows. People don't upgrade to the new version(s) of Windows that often, and sometimes the new versions are awful (i.e. Vista.) So locking it to just Windows 8 seems real bad and greatly narrows the market that the game can be sold to on the PC.

#17 Posted by dropabombonit (1490 posts) -

Cool story but despite the number of platforms the game is coming to, I can't play it because I don't any of them

#18 Posted by Shookems (474 posts) -

Because making your game an exclusive to a newly released windows platform has worked out so well in the past.

#19 Posted by Nights (614 posts) -

I'm not upgrading from Windows 7 until I absolutely have to. Much like how I stuck with Windows XP up until last year. Windows 8 looks like an absolute joke for desktop users. This just in Microsoft, a universal OS is a terrible idea. What works for a phone and tablet doesn't work for a desktop and vice versa. I'm not interested in a tablet based experience (with Metro) on my fucking desktop, if I did, I wouldn't be using a desktop. Crazy concept, I know.

Windows 8 isn’t even Windows anymore. It’s a tablet OS that’s been grafted onto Windows like a monstrous Frankenstein experiment.

#20 Posted by Zaccheus (1793 posts) -

@Shookems said:

Because making your game an exclusive to a newly released windows platform has worked out so well in the past.

Well I guess Microsoft is paying them enough that it's worth it even if they don't sell much copies, so yes it's probably a very good bet. Or maybe the developers are just really stupid like you suggest.

#21 Posted by Cloneslayer (1628 posts) -

I was sold at "Its like Advance Wars."

#22 Posted by DoctorWelch (2774 posts) -

Everyone's going to be like "Stop hating Patrick", but I just want to clarify I really like Patrick. I'm just saying this here because it's the place I post the most.

Anyway, can we please stop with this whole "one line paragraph" thing that is plaguing the internet? Seriously, sometimes I read articles from places all around the web and they are made up of like two sentence paragraphs that are insanely annoying to read. Since when did decades, no, centuries of writing in paragraphs get thrown out the window for pointless extra line breaks to make articles seem longer than they really are. Paragraphs are that way for a reason. I'm not going to go into a 10-page paper of why they are the way they are, but it just seems insane to me that more and more people are deciding to write this way. Don't get me wrong, there's always room for a personal touch or flavor in writing, but arbitrary line jumps to sentences that should be right next to each other is just annoying. It really just makes the writing seem more disjointed like a bullet point breakdown of a story instead of being a piece that flows and is interesting in its own right.

#23 Posted by cikame (1001 posts) -

This never really appeared to be much more than a good quality downloadable rts of sorts, not sure it deserves this amount of pre-release coverage but hey i'm all for suprises, maybe it'll be mind blowing.

#24 Edited by vinsanityv22 (1064 posts) -

How is this studio still open? Shouldn't have this game come out, like, two or three years ago?

Just ship the XBLA version already. Who cares about a simultaneous release date when 2 out of the 3 platforms will not have a large user base. You wanna ship for Surface and Windows Phone, feel free to do it later. But for f**k's sake, everyone who was ever interested in Skulls of the Shogun has already forgotten about it. It's one of those games like Bionic Commando or Final Fantasy Versus XIII where the audience will have gotten so sick of waiting that they'll just react with a shrug and say, "I thought that came out a year ago". When you delay a finished game for so long, you run a serious risk of making it instantly irrelevant.

Sh*t. Your studio could've been making money and could've shipped 2 more games since the XBLA version was finished.

#25 Posted by Tyrax (33 posts) -

Looks cool to me, I'll probably get it on Xbox, but if the Surface controls work well I could see myself double dipping

#26 Posted by prestonhedges (1965 posts) -

@Cloneslayer said:

I was sold at "Its like Advance Wars."

It's not, though.

#27 Posted by MormonWarrior (2593 posts) -

Wait, so is this still an XBLA title or is it only coming to Surface? I totally wanted to check this out...

#28 Posted by Shookems (474 posts) -

@Zaccheus: Not suggesting the developers are really stupid. I'm not sure where you pulled that from. I'm referring to the Vista exclusive releases of Shadowrun and Halo 2 that failed miserably.

#29 Posted by FateOfNever (1839 posts) -

@MormonWarrior said:

Wait, so is this still an XBLA title or is it only coming to Surface? I totally wanted to check this out...

It's still an XBLA title.

That extra work has morphed into three distinct versions of the game coming to three different platforms: Xbox Live Arcade, Windows 8, Windows Mobile.
#30 Posted by Zaccheus (1793 posts) -

@Shookems: Well you implied that this release was doomed to fail. I think a developer would be pretty stupid to do that given the examples you gave, unless Microsoft was basically paying them more money than they would expect to get from a conventional release. So if you are right the developer would indeed be pretty stupid if their aim was to make money... It's pretty logical.

#31 Posted by Rirse (266 posts) -

Cue a year later when they complain about piracy when their game doesn't sell due to being Window 8 exclusive.

#32 Posted by Reluctant_Hero (39 posts) -

I played Skulls of the Shogun way back at PAX Prime 2010. Been waiting to play it again ever since. The wait has been too long. But I guess that is the price to pay when MS publishes your game. I hope it all pans out for Jake and 17-bit Studios.

#33 Posted by MikkaQ (10288 posts) -

@DoctorWelch: That's how you're supposed to write news articles on the web. It's easier on the readers' eyes to find their place, it allows for easier content cutting on the editor's side, and of course writing for web is all about getting the idea out in as small a space as possible, as people have zero patience. Like you said, it feels like it's being written out like bulletin points. That means he did his job correctly.

Long paragraphs are well and fine for research articles, books and other long-format pieces of writing, but for news this is the standard and accepted style.

#34 Posted by ballsnbayonets (156 posts) -

looks SUPER BORING sorry microsoft.

#35 Posted by DrDarkStryfe (1117 posts) -

@DoctorWelch: Short paragraphs is something that you find in all print journalism. It is all about hitting the point, and leading very little filler. The same can be found if you open your local newspaper.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/world/middleeast/cia-said-to-aid-in-steering-arms-to-syrian-rebels.html?_r=1&hp

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2012/06/commerce-secretary-bryson-resigns/1#.T-NO6bVYuSo

http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/06/21/judge-throws-out-3-of-51-counts-against-sandusky/

#36 Posted by crajon (21 posts) -

I've been using Windows Phone 7 and it doesn't even compare to the App store in terms of games. They're all way to expensive, and most are of a low quality. I hope I'm wrong, but I can't see it being any better on a tablet.

#37 Edited by Curufinwe (1265 posts) -

@DoctorWelch said:

Everyone's going to be like "Stop hating Patrick", but I just want to clarify I really like Patrick. I'm just saying this here because it's the place I post the most.

Anyway, can we please stop with this whole "one line paragraph" thing that is plaguing the internet? Seriously, sometimes I read articles from places all around the web and they are made up of like two sentence paragraphs that are insanely annoying to read. Since when did decades, no, centuries of writing in paragraphs get thrown out the window for pointless extra line breaks to make articles seem longer than they really are. Paragraphs are that way for a reason. I'm not going to go into a 10-page paper of why they are the way they are, but it just seems insane to me that more and more people are deciding to write this way. Don't get me wrong, there's always room for a personal touch or flavor in writing, but arbitrary line jumps to sentences that should be right next to each other is just annoying. It really just makes the writing seem more disjointed like a bullet point breakdown of a story instead of being a piece that flows and is interesting in its own right.

Your second paragraph is hard to read because it is at least twice as big as it should be, and perfectly illustrates how wrong you are.

Reading paragraphs on a website doesn't work the same way as reading paragraphs in a magazine or book.

#38 Posted by Xeirus (1305 posts) -

@Curufinwe said:

@DoctorWelch said:

Everyone's going to be like "Stop hating Patrick", but I just want to clarify I really like Patrick. I'm just saying this here because it's the place I post the most.

Anyway, can we please stop with this whole "one line paragraph" thing that is plaguing the internet? Seriously, sometimes I read articles from places all around the web and they are made up of like two sentence paragraphs that are insanely annoying to read. Since when did decades, no, centuries of writing in paragraphs get thrown out the window for pointless extra line breaks to make articles seem longer than they really are. Paragraphs are that way for a reason. I'm not going to go into a 10-page paper of why they are the way they are, but it just seems insane to me that more and more people are deciding to write this way. Don't get me wrong, there's always room for a personal touch or flavor in writing, but arbitrary line jumps to sentences that should be right next to each other is just annoying. It really just makes the writing seem more disjointed like a bullet point breakdown of a story instead of being a piece that flows and is interesting in its own right.

Your second paragraph is hard to read because it is at least twice as big as it should be, and perfectly illustrates how wrong you are.

Reading paragraphs on a website doesn't work the same way as reading paragraphs in a magazine or book.

hahahaha, someone got served.

#39 Posted by watership (19 posts) -

@dropabombonit said:

Cool story but despite the number of platforms the game is coming to, I can't play it because I don't any of them

If you don't have an Xbox 360 I don't feel sorry for you. So many great games you've already missed out on, on XBLA alone, you only have your choice to blame.

#40 Posted by nERVEcenter (178 posts) -

@MormonWarrior: It's a Windows 8 title. That's ANY Windows 8 machine. Being optimized for touch, it's obviously a perfect fit for Surface, but the marketing message seems to imply it's exclusive. Not true.

#41 Posted by fidgetwidget (63 posts) -

@HumanoidTyphoon: have you used it? I bet you still click "all programs" on the start bar too, instead of using the search field to find the programs you need quickly...

You're a dinosaur, the article you link to even says so... evolve or die.

#42 Edited by umdesch4 (772 posts) -

@fidgetwidget said:

@HumanoidTyphoon: have you used it? I bet you still click "all programs" on the start bar too, instead of using the search field to find the programs you need quickly...

You're a dinosaur, the article you link to even says so... evolve or die.

Normally, I'd agree with you, but you picked the worst example ever. I bolted a secondary start menu onto my task bar that I could organize the way I use things. With a quick registry hack or two, I can access any program on my machine in less than a second, just like I used to in XP. Typing in the search field of my start menu to find stuff in it? This is an evolved improvement over a hierarchical, user-customizable, sortable, and prioritizable interface?

You say evolve or die, I say Idiocracy.

#43 Posted by Boopie (191 posts) -

I don't think this will be the next Angry Birds

#44 Posted by Dezinus (274 posts) -

Kinda weird that this 3+ year-old game that looks like a slightly better Flash game keeps getting mentioned everywhere, but ok.

#45 Posted by l3illyl3ob (283 posts) -

There's really nothing WRONG with Windows 8. The Metro UI can be closed and ignored completely. But the problem is, beyond that, it's just Windows 7 again with only a small handful of really tiny usability enhancements. Why should I spend $100+ for that? I don't think 17-bit is making a very smart move by teaming with microsoft and locking Skulls to Windows 8 when it's a completely inessential OS. There isn't any technical reason why a game for windows 8 couldn't work for windows 7, either. This is a completely arbitrary lockout. I don't have an xbox, I can't get this on XBLA, so they're just saying I'll never play this game.

What's even dumber is that people will probably hack the game to make it work on 7 and pirates will have a field day.

#46 Posted by DoctorWelch (2774 posts) -

@Curufinwe said:

@DoctorWelch said:

Everyone's going to be like "Stop hating Patrick", but I just want to clarify I really like Patrick. I'm just saying this here because it's the place I post the most.

Anyway, can we please stop with this whole "one line paragraph" thing that is plaguing the internet? Seriously, sometimes I read articles from places all around the web and they are made up of like two sentence paragraphs that are insanely annoying to read. Since when did decades, no, centuries of writing in paragraphs get thrown out the window for pointless extra line breaks to make articles seem longer than they really are. Paragraphs are that way for a reason. I'm not going to go into a 10-page paper of why they are the way they are, but it just seems insane to me that more and more people are deciding to write this way. Don't get me wrong, there's always room for a personal touch or flavor in writing, but arbitrary line jumps to sentences that should be right next to each other is just annoying. It really just makes the writing seem more disjointed like a bullet point breakdown of a story instead of being a piece that flows and is interesting in its own right.

Your second paragraph is hard to read because it is at least twice as big as it should be, and perfectly illustrates how wrong you are.

Reading paragraphs on a website doesn't work the same way as reading paragraphs in a magazine or book.

Yes, but I am not writing an article for a so called "professional" company. Also, dividing that up into two different paragraphs is still not a one line break.

#47 Posted by DoctorWelch (2774 posts) -

@MikkaQ said:

@DoctorWelch: That's how you're supposed to write news articles on the web. It's easier on the readers' eyes to find their place, it allows for easier content cutting on the editor's side, and of course writing for web is all about getting the idea out in as small a space as possible, as people have zero patience. Like you said, it feels like it's being written out like bulletin points. That means he did his job correctly.

Long paragraphs are well and fine for research articles, books and other long-format pieces of writing, but for news this is the standard and accepted style.

Giantbomb has proved this to be a wrong assumption. They have hung their hat on the theory that people's patience on the internet is not short, and they have been extremely successful so far. Also, putting more line breaks in the articles actually does the opposite thing of what you are suggesting. It makes the article more annoying to read and follow because of the lack of any and all logic about where breaks are supposed to go. It also makes the article seem about twice as long as it truly is. If the article was set in paragraphs, the chances of people reading the entire thing would be much much greater because it is simply much more likely someone will stop reading at a line break rather than in the middle of a paragraph. So if there are only a handful of paragraphs the chances of the audience getting more of that content is higher.

Also, these line breaks have should have little to do with cutting of content and editing because anyone who has gone to school for some kind of journalism knows that there are plenty of methods for which editing and cutting can be as easy as cutting off the end. Also, on Giantbomb (as well as any site) cutting content is really not a factor because of the infinite space on a page for text to be displayed. So any and all cutting and formatting that needs to be done to fit print does not apply directly to the internet. The most basic of journalism takes the bullet points and presents it as simple as that, but better, more experienced journalists use more creative methods and structure in order to make their stories feel less like a boring set of points.

#48 Posted by Ladnar (199 posts) -

Really want to play it, not going to make me upgrade to Windows 8. #alreadybeensaid

#49 Edited by Curufinwe (1265 posts) -

I@DoctorWelch: I guarantee no one is actually reading all of your overly long, poorly formatted diatribes.

#50 Posted by fidgetwidget (63 posts) -

@umdesch4: sorry, my "evolve or die" comment wasn't one directed at anyone, only something in the article HumanoidTyphoon had linked to try and make their point.

Certainly there are ways to get at what you want quickly and easily that don't require a "search" field, especially when you only use a dozen or so programs on a regular basis.

As to why you would "bolt another start menu" to your task bar in order to quickly access the things you use, when there is ample room on the task bar to "pin" programs, and an entire desktop of space for programs... that just seems like wanting to do something fantastically mundane. I am all for re-inventing the wheel (if they didn't re-invent it a few times, it wouldn't be round, or use material that provide better traction, be light weight, etc), but calling a more easy to use with less to learn experience more of a "de-evolution" than an evolution is a bit short sighted.

eg. Can you drive a car? Standard or Automatic? Does your car have power steering, assisted breaks, or other inventions that make driving easier? Or perhaps you take the bus or train? What ever your answers, were those "de-evolutions" of the horse drawn carriage!? If you think that, then the computer itself was too!

As for the word "Idiocracy"... that's the name of a movie... about the fact that intelligence isn't a factor in the all too often misquoted belief that evolution is merely "survival of the fittest".

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