Colds are the worst. You gain a legitimate excuse to lay around all day, but the effort needed to do anything makes it a moot point.
I’m battling through a mild cold right now, and I’ve re-written this opening sentence more than a dozen times. It’s unclear whether each time was because the sentence wasn’t any good or I just can’t tell anymore. I guess it doesn’t matter. Not like I can tell.
Worth Reading has been going for a little while now, and I’ve been pleased by the reception. It could always be better, though, and I’m introducing a new feature at the bottom. Whenever I feature a game or story, it’s featured because I’ve taken the time to read or play it. I’m constantly taking note of games and articles all week, though, and it seems a shame that I’m not able to share any of them because I ran out of time.
As always, let me know what you think, and keep sending me game and article recommendations!
Hey, You Should Play This:
Designer Michael Consoli is onto something with Against the Wall, a first-person puzzler that imagines a chaotic civilization where the world is dictated by an omnipotent wall. The wall does not talk, it does not speak, but the wall is life, is everything, and in order to survive, you must push and pull the wall, and hope your jumps are well-timed along the way. Against the Wall has been in Consoli’s pet project for the last year, and he’ll attend NYU Game Center later this fall because of it. Against the Wall might be put on the backburner during that time. Maybe we can convince him otherwise? You can find out for yourself, since early versions of the game are available for download now.
And You Should Read These, Too:
- Black Undead Damnation by Jason Johnson for Kill Screen
I’ve become obsessed with watching The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time speedruns, as players discover and manipulate different glitches within the game that allow them to finish it in absolutely astonishing times (the last one I saw was 22 minutes!). Glitches give rise to myths, and myths can be powerful toys for the imagination. The arcade near me as a kid was one of the Midway testing grounds, and we constantly received updated versions of Mortal Kombat long before the games came out. The rumor about Kano and Sonya being playable via glitch took on legitimate life at my arcade, since new revisions were always coming through. Jason Johnson heard about a haunted house in Red Dead Redemption, and went about investigating. His lesson? Be careful what you wish for. Mwhaha!
The ghost hunt was a bust. More curious than the mansion itself is why videogames generate urban legends in the first place. I have my own theory on this. It shows that a game has been assimilated into culture, to the point where people are willing to make up bullshit about it, which might be the highest achievement of all for a game. In the classics, this sort of rumor mongering happens all the time.
You’ve heard us talk about EVE Online before, and it won’t be the last time the space drama is mentioned on Giant Bomb. I’m still not sure how to tackle covering EVE Online. When even Dave can’t find a way to break through to the game, I’m willing to admit defeat up-front. Right now, I’m searching for an EVE Online ambassador--a guide, if you will. In the search for captivating stories, however, EVE Online is full of them, as the “Burn Jita” event recently underscored. “Burn Jita” was a massive attack on the economic infrastructure of EVE Online, headed by the group “Goonswarm.” Developer CCP Games has published a blog about the “Burn Jita” event, which includes a fascinating breakdown of the technical logistics involved with scaling and maintaining such a large player event.
Since the "Burn Jita" event was announced well in advance and CCP wants to support player-driven events (as long they are within the rules of the game), we reinforced the Jita solar system on our beefiest hardware, further reinforced all neighbouring systems and set out to monitor the event and provide the best experience we could to willing (and unwilling) participants. Then things started to unfold a day earlier than announced on Friday morning. We gathered data and fine-tuned the systems and as CCP Veritas put it: "It's okay, didn't want that Friday night anyway."
And Some Other Stuff:
- Passion Pit’s new single isn’t game related, but I’ve been listening to it while writing about games, so...
- Before Crytek picked up Free Radical, some crazy shit went down with LucasArts. Amazing story.
- It's been a while since GeoHot, but we barely knew about what happened. David Kushner solves that.
- You've heard me lament about horror games before. Frictional Games gives me hope.
- People were pretty up in arms about the EA "indie" bundle, but what do the developers think?
- I've been told the best way to understand design philosophy is to make a board game. Matthew Burns did.
- Can someone explain why this Wikipedia article about Bit.Trip costs so much money?
- An article about gamification that doesn't talk about gamification to avoid pre-conceived notions. Hmm.